This article also appears in
Subscribe now »

The Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 is built using a carbon-fiber monocoque

Supercar concept previews Lamborghini plug-in possibilities

The Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4, revealed at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, demonstrated how the Italian company could produce a plug-in hybrid supercar concept using technology available today. The Asterion combines the naturally aspirated V10 engine of the Huracan with three electric motors to provide a powerful gasoline/electric powertrain with low carbon dioxide emissions.

Lamborghini explains that the Asterion LPI 910-4 name is derived from the following: “LP” for “longitudinale posterior” indicating which way the engine is mounted (longitudinally) and its position on the car (behind the cockpit), I indicates the Italian for hybrid “ibrido,” 910 represents the system power by adding the power output in horsepower of the V10 engine and the electric motors together, and 4 representing the four-wheel-drive capability of the drive system.

The V10 engine has a displacement of 5204 cm³ and produces maximum power of 610 hp (455 kW) at 8250 rpm and peak torque of 560 N·m (413 lb·ft) at 6500 rpm. The engine is positioned longitudinally in a mid-engine location behind the cockpit, driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in a transaxle arrangement.

The first electric machine is located between the V10 engine and the dual-clutch transmission and functions as an integrated starter/generator (ISG). Two further electric motors are located in the front axle and fed by the ISG system, which incorporates torque vectoring to the front wheels. The combined power output of the three electric motors is a claimed 220 kW. The lithium battery pack is fitted longitudinally in the “transmission” tunnel, with the aim of improving vehicle balance and protecting the batteries in the event of a lateral impact. Lamborghini claims that the weight of the hybrid technology is 250 kg (550 lb).

This drive system has three modes. In hybrid mode, the V10 engine and all three drive motors are engaged. These function without reliance on the state-of-charge of the batteries to provide permanent four-wheel drive. In electric-drive mode, only the front wheels are driven by the two electric motors, and the batteries provide a claimed range of 50 km (31 mi). In thermal engine power mode, only the V10 engine is used to drive the rear wheels.

Claimed performance includes acceleration from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 3.0 s, a top speed of 320 km/h (200 mph), and a top speed of 125 km/h (78 mph) under electric power alone. Tested on the European New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), the car is said to return 4.2 L/100 km, or about 56 mpg U.S., on the combined cycle test, with carbon dioxide emissions of 98 g/km.

The Asterion is based on a carbon-fiber monocoque to assist in reducing weight. The front end of the car is constructed as a single component. Materials used for the headlamps include forged carbon fiber and titanium. The Pirelli tires are fitted to 20- and 21-in rims that include carbon fiber components.

Inside the car, aluminum, titanium, and forged carbon fiber are among the materials used. Titanium is used on the steering wheel, whose design is drawn from the Lamborghini Miura. The three drive-mode buttons are incorporated in the steering wheel. Climate control, GPS, and the infotainment system are among the functions controlled from a portable tablet computer.

Continue reading »