The Lamborghini Asterion, the hybrid GT that could’ve been something truly different in an electrically-augmented world populated by hybrid hypercars, is dead. And Lamborghini’s boss ran it over with the forthcoming Urus SUV.
Autocar sat down with Lambo’s head honcho Stephan Winkelmann who said the Asterion’s fate was sealed by customer reactions. Specifically, people are open to hybrid powertrains, but only if it’s used for outright performance.
“Because of the weight of the batteries, we also took the opportunity to make the car bigger and roomier,” Winkelman said. “A Lamborghini super-sports car is driven maybe 3000 miles a year, not every day, so the electrification has to offer an added intensity to justify its inclusion.”
The decision to shelve the 910-horsepower Asterion, which was more grand-touring cruiser than dedicated speed machine, isn’t entirely surprising coming from Winkelmann. He told a reporter at its debut in Paris that “I strongly believe that this is not a car that will be in production and we will not do it.”
Lamborghini eventually walked back that statement in a series of “clarifications,” but Winkelmann’s comments still stand largely unchanged. And there’s a good chance that any kind of hybrid technology could come to its new SUV, which Lamborghini says is planned to go on sale in 2018.
For now, there’s no chance of an all-electric Lambo, but in order to meet new emissions restrictions, the automaker’s head of R&D, Maurizio Reggiani, says that, “Maybe one day we will have to downsize and use turbochargers. But I think plug-in is the right solution.”