The folks on the Italian side of the Volkswagen Group say the hybrid Lamborghini Asterion is just a concept at the moment, but there is a one production supercar that will get that kind of technology first: the upcoming 2015 Audi R8, which is confirmed to get hybrid and full electric variants.

That's what Audi technical chief Dr. Ullrich Hackenberg told the UK's Car magazine at the Paris Motor Show recently. He said that the hybrid Asterion is proof of what could happen at Audi.

The last we heard, the next R8 — due out in 2015 — would use the current V8 and V10 engines before going turbocharged later. Hybrid and electric versions should make an interesting addition to the lineup.

'We are able to make the R8 a plug-in hybrid,' he said. 'The Lamborghini Asterion shows this is possible - that car uses the platform of the R8. We will see an increase in the efficiency of high-performance cars - they have to meet CO2 regulations of the future in order to survive.'

[...] 'The R8 successor will come next year [2015] and we have developed a platform that you can see in the Lamborghini Huracan today. We will have different powertrains available, though. And in the R8 E-tron we will have more than 400km (250 miles) range.'

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It's interesting, but it's not at all surprising. Audi has been running a hybrid prototype cars in racing for some time, and they toyed with doing an e-tron electric version of the outgoing R8 for years, starting with a 2009 concept car, pictured above.

That car never happened because they said battery technology wasn't ready for primetime, but things are changing on that front.

The next R8 should be an impressive and high-tech machine. Too bad we have to sacrifice the gated manual transmission to get it, though.