Lamborghini Asterion Put On Hold; The SUV Moving Forward
The chances of seeing a production version of Lamborghini’s 2015 Lamborghini LPI 910-4 Asterion concept car are less than great now that the company is moving forward with production of the 2018 Lamborghini Urus SUV.
Lamborghini is in the process of doubling the size of its factory in Sant’Agata, Italy and hiring 500 new employees to accommodate Urus production. The aim is to build 3,000 annually, which would double Lamborghini’s current output. Given the massive investment, the bandwidth to produce the Asterion simply isn’t there, and Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann now says production in unlikely.
"It was built to show what we would do if the regulations forced us to have 30 miles of electric range as well as high-speed performance,” Winkelmann recently told Autocar. “Because of the weight of the batteries, we also took the opportunity to make the car bigger and roomier. We wanted to see customer reactions.”
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The Asterion was introduced at the 2014 Paris Motor Show as a roomier, less-hardcore alternative to Lamborghini’s current offerings.
Had it come to fruition, it would have done 0-60 in less than three seconds with a top speed in excess of 200 mph.
Its Miura-echoing looks and 897-horsepower hybrid drivetrain were well received by the general public, but Winkelmann suggests a lukewarm reception from potential customers also contributed to the decision to shelve the project.
“[Customers] told us that they were open to innovation, including hybrid technology, but only if it came with the benefit of added performance,” said Winkelmann. “A Lamborghini super-sports car is driven maybe 3,000 miles a year, not every day, so the electrification has to offer an added intensity to justify its inclusion.”
The Asterion’s drivetrain consisted of a 5.2-liter V-10 producing just under 600 horsepower and three electric motors, one mounted between the engine and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, and two more powering each of the front wheels.
With a lithium-ion battery pack, the arrangement is almost identical to the hybrid system in the 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder. Had it come to fruition, it would have done 0-60 in less than three seconds with a top speed in excess of 200 mph.
Why it matters
We wouldn’t count out an additional Lamborghini model beyond the Aventador, Huracán and Urus just yet. If the goals Lamborghini has set for the Urus are met, including doubling production, it will generate a huge amount of revenue for the company, and more revenue generally means more investment in future models. We probably won’t see a fourth model for another few years, and it probably won’t be the Asterion, but a Lamborghini with a grand-touring bent to it would fit in nicely within the current portfolio.
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