Auto blogMon, 29 Sep 2014 14:55:00 EST
The first purportedly leaked images from an Italian magazine of Lamborghini's new vehicle for the Paris Motor Show are on the web, and they closely echo the model's silhouette from the teaser. However, there's no official mention of a name to confirm that this is being called the Asterion, as rumored.
The profile image (right) definitely suggests this is the same model that Lamborghini is previewing for Paris. It features the same slightly arcing hood and roof, and it has a rear air intake behind the door. The shape also seems to support the belief that this concept has a 2+2 seating arrangement to echo earlier Lambo models like Espada.
According to Autoblog.nl, which has posted the images, the vehicle may use a hybrid V10 with three electric motors to produce in the neighborhood of 900 horsepower. Furthermore, it claims that this might be just one of two concepts that Lamborghini is bringing to the Paris show. For now it's still a mystery, but all should be revealed on October 2 for the vehicle's unveiling.
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:58:00 EST
Don't let the shiny objects detract from the serious side of the show. Sales, fuel economy and regulations are part of the conversation.
The Paris Motor Show is one of the glitziest events on the automotive calendar. Yes, it helps that it's in the City of Light, but the glamorous surroundings only enhance the spectacular wares that automakers bring to the show. This is where Europeans debut their best new cars for the coming year, both as eye-catching concepts and in production trim.
Lamborghini had us seriously stumped when it released its teaser (above) for a new vehicle that'll debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. The image seemed to depict a fastback GT somewhat reminiscent of Lambo's earlier 2+2 models like the Espada, and was accompanied by the sentence, "Once perfection is achieved, you can just double it." We're still not entirely sure what the means, but a possible leaked logo for the car might offer some big hints about its powertrain.
According to the Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market in Europe, Lamborghini applied for a trademark on the name Asterion on September 15 to cover vehicles, clothing, toys and video games. The logo (right) included a lightning bolt slashing through the 'O' in the word. That could suggest this forthcoming vehicle is a hybrid, but it's also not clear whether we're going to be hearing about a pure concept, or a production model.
The name itself might also be a tell. Asterion is one of the names for the Minotaur in Greek mythology, which is a creature that is part bull and part man. This could be another indication that the concept combines the traditional Lamborghini style with something else.
"Once perfection is achieved, you can just double it."
What in the name of Ferruccio Lamborghini does that mean? Well, we have no idea, and we think that's sorta the point. Lamborghini wants us to know that it's bringing something very interesting to the Paris Motor Show, and it wants the public and press alike wondering what it might have up its finely tailored sleeves.
Taking a look at the white-on-black line drawing that accompanies the teaser (click above to enlarge), we note a pretty clear fastback shape, which reminds us of the classic Espada, and we also know that the brand has long been considering a four-door sedan to add to its high-performance portfolio. Either way, a four-seater or a four-door machine could seemingly fit with the "double it" tagline of the teaser, and we're really just speculating anyway.
If and when the Urus project is finally approved for production, it will take Lamborghini into not one but several new territories. For one, it will be the company's first SUV since the demise of the LM002 in 1993. It'll also be the company's first front-engined model since the demise of the Jalpa and Espada in the late '70s, and its first model to offer hybrid and turbocharged powertrains in, well... ever. Just don't expect it to be its cheapest model.
According to Motoring.com.au, in speaking with Lamborghini sales and marketing execs, the Urus "will be priced similarly to the Huracán," which is currently the Raging Bull marque's entry-level model. That doesn't mean, necessarily, that the Urus (pictured above in Beijing alongside the previous Gallardo) couldn't undercut the Huracán's price slightly - especially since it will likely offer more than one engine option - but don't expect it to come cheap.
The Huracán starts in the US for $237,250. If, as reported, the Urus commands a similar price, that would make it the most expensive SUV on the market. That is, at least, before other high-end rivals from the likes of Bentley and Maserati get into the game.
We've seen it time and time again, but we never seem to get tired of it. We are referring, of course, to races between supercars and fighter jets. The time-honored tradition has seen a Lamborghini Reventón take on a Panavia Tornado, an SRT Viper line up alongside an F-16, even a Red Bull F1 car tackle an F/A-18 Hornet. But now it's time for the new Lamborghini Huracán to take its turn. And since this contest takes place in Russia, its rival is none other than the Sukhoi Su-30 Flanker-C, the two-seat version of the earlier Su-27 and one of the most advanced aircraft to come out of the Soviet Union.
Now there are, of course, many ways to set up a race between car and jet, but for this one, the organizers had the competitors line up on the runway, accelerate past a marker (at which point the jet is already in the air), turn around and return. We'll let you watch the video for yourself to see which won, but either way, there can be little question that the Su-30 and the latest Lamborghini are two of the most formidable performance machines ever devised.
With all the versions of the Gallardo that Lamborghini made over the course of that model's dozen year lifecycle, we knew the debut of the new Huracán would only be the start. And now we're getting an idea of what Sant'Agata has in store. Before too long, there'll be a new Spyder, and likely a rear-drive version as well. But racing teams are more eagerly anticipating the new competition versions. There's the new Super Trofeo spec racer that Lambo unveiled in Monterey a couple of weeks ago, but now we're receiving word of a new GT3 racer as well.
Based closely on the Super Trofeo, the Huracán GT3 is reportedly being designed to meet the regulations of numerous racing series - including, the latest reports will have us know, the United SportsCar Championship that competes in North America. This according to Sportscar365.com, which spoke to Lamborghini's chief test driver Giorgio Sanna at Virginia International Raceway recently.
Unlike some of its rivals, racing has not traditionally been a core value at Lamborghini, but it has competed here and there. It previously relied on Reiter Engineering to develop racing versions of the Murcielago and Gallardo, but is said to be doing the Huracán GT3 almost entirely in-house, with a modicum of input from Dallara, the racing chassis manufacturer founded by the man widely credited with developing the Miura and Espada in the 1960s.
Car and Driver threw a leg over the Lamborghini Huracán and rode it hard all around the 16-turn Circuito Internationale Nardò, next to the banked oval that's brought us many a top-speed video. On the way to discovering the bull calf sweetly eclipses the Gallardo it replaces, CD also discovered that - comparing their own tests - it is faster from zero to 60 miles per hour than its paterfamilias, the Aventador.
Now, we should all know that 0-60 tests are an imprecise discipline, but CD's Eric Tingwall torched the sprint in the Huracán in 2.5 seconds - yes, faster than a whole lot of other very expensive super-coupes. In the magazine's last instrumented test of the Aventador Aaron Robinson ran 3.0 seconds, and for more Aventador perspective we can compare Motor Trend's 2.8 seconds, also scored at Nardo, Road & Track at 2.7 seconds and Lamborghini's estimated 0-62 mph time of 2.9 seconds. Any way you chop that up, 2.5 seconds beats it. A bit of a shock, then: Lamborghini lists the Huracán's 0-62 mph time as 3.2 seconds.
We'll get a more precise idea of the discrepancy when more tests come online, but for the moment - and in this one respect - we've got the $241,945, 602-horsepower Huracán showing its angry backside to the $397,500, 691-hp Aventador. Even if it remains true, though, we're not sure it matters; in a figurative case of Predator versus Alien, it's arguable that the only way to be wrong is not to own one.
For the Autoblog staff, we're in the honeymoon phase following the Monterey car week and Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. In terms of big, huge, labor-intensive events on the horizon, we're free until the beginning of October, when we'll ship off to Paris for its annual motor show. That means we're free to look back on the beautiful metal out in California, which included more than a few classic Lamborghinis, including the Miura and Countach.
Unfortunately, we never had a hope of getting behind the wheel (believe it or not, asking exceptionally wealthy car collectors to borrow their meticulously maintained, extraordinarily rare vehicles doesn't elicit immediate cooperation). Considering this grave injustice, we're left taking solace in the latest video from Car, which sees the British outlet taking spins in both the Miura and Countach. The pair of vehicles served as forbearers to the modern supercar, with the former's early mid-engine layout and the latter's aggressive, wedge-shaped styling.
Take a look at the latest video from the lucky bastards team at Car.
Lamborghini may not offer a manual-transmission option on the new Huracán - so few customers were asking for it on the preceding Gallardo as it was - but don't think that it won't pursue ever more hardcore variants. And that will reportedly include a rear-drive version.
Speaking with journalists at the Pebble Beach unveiling of the new Huracán Super Trofeo, Lamborghini CEO Stefan Winkelmann is reported to have said, "We did it with the Gallardo so it might be an option. We are a four-wheel-drive super-sports car [manufacturer] but why should we not do a rear-drive option?"
The rear-drive Huracán would naturally shed a few pounds off the all-wheel-drive version's curb weight, but the question is just how much. There is said to have only been so much of the AWD system that Sant'Agata was able to strip out of the Gallardo to make the rear-drive Balboni edition after the fact, but if the Huracán was engineered from the get-go for both drivetrains, the rear-drive version could prove that much more thrilling to drive.