A hybrid Lamborghini... what happened to all the proper, red-blooded supercars? You've probably noticed that a stonking V12 engine that kicks out enough CO2 emissions to choke your average polar bear isn't exactly the flavour of the month right now. Instead, manufacturers are busy looking at ways to reduce harmful emissions and improve fuel economy while retaining the sort of performance figures that make schoolboys giddy with excitement.
So what is underneath the bonnet then? The Asterion packs the same 607bhp 5.2-litre V10 engine as the Huracan but also incorporates three powerful electric motors for an added performance boost. The total output of all drivetrains is a staggering 907bhp – but even more surprising is the fact the Asterion can mooch around town on electricity alone for around 30 miles or so. Lamborghini bigwigs also claim the new car can achieve 282mpg when both engine and electric motors are called upon, which is crazy talk.
Hang on, it's more economical than a family hatchback and as fast as a Ferrari... what's the catch? That's right, it can hit 185mph and rocket to 62mph from a complete standstill in just over three seconds. The catch is that the 282mpg figure probably isn't achievable in the real world. As soon as the batteries run out of juice, you're essentially wrangling a 5.2-litre V10, which is thirsty whichever way you look at it. Secondly, it's not destined for production, which means it will cost an absolute fortune should you desperately want one.
It doesn't look anywhere near as menacing as recent Lambo concepts... Designers have deliberately taken a 'softer' approach with this one because Lamborghini wanted to create a sophisticated cruiser rather than an insane track-day demon. The seats are cosseting and set higher in the cabin for a better view of the road, the ride is set-up for comfort and there's even a multitude of handy gadgetry inside. But the exterior does echo elements of the legendary Miura, which can never be construed as a bad thing.
Did you say gadgets? Inside a Lamborghini? Yes we did, because the Asterion is no way near as sparse and 'race ready' as some of its supercar siblings. There's a stylish TFT display behind the steering wheel that presents a plethora of pin-sharp driving information and there is even a large tablet device in the centre console that controls most of the car's functions. This tablet can also be removed and used to check things like climate and battery charge status remotely. We assume it can also be used to browse the web, play music and do all manner of tablet-y things outside of the car. Finally, the steering wheel features a button that toggles between three driving modes: "Zero" for full electric, "Ibrido" or hybrid, and "Termico" or thermal for full-fat power.
What on earth does Asterion mean anyway? The car is actually called the Lamborghini LPI-910-4 Asterion, to give it its full designation. But in short, Lambo likes to name its cars after bulls and - without giving you a lecture in Greek mythology - Asterion was a 'ruler of the stars' who had to assume the form of a half-man, half-bull Minotaur thing to accomplish his life goals. We quite like the idea that the Asterion's petrol-burning components are bovine while its fancy electric bits are human. But there's every chance that Lamborghini didn't think of it like that.