Ferrari's front-engined V12s and mid-engined V8s have taken turns monopolizing the brand's perception; the 550 Maranello was probably the last front-engined V12 to be first-to-mind, now the 458 Italia leads the family. Not so atLamborghini, where a mid-engined V12 has been the go-to and centerpiece since the extraterrestrial Countach landed, and it still is no matter how much theHuracán outsells the Aventador. That shape, those doors, that engine – they're the franchise.
That doesn't mean Lamborghini isn't trying new things. The Asterion LPI 910-4 concept from last year's Paris Motor Show was more than the marque's first draft of a hybrid, it was an exploration of a different avenue in design. According to design chief Filippo Perini, "We need to understand if we can open another window in our future to be not so extreme but also a little bit more politically correct and elegant." The Asterion points at elegance and "a daily use of the car" with more room inside, a slimmer rocker panel and sill for easier entry, and a raised hip point in the seats for a higher driving position. Perini said that from the driver's seat, "You can see the color of the car. That is something unknown in our very extreme designs."
Extreme Lamborghinis aren't going away, however – note that Perini spoke of opening "anotherwindow" of design. The goal, he said, "is to understand if [its] design language will be appreciated by a different kind of customer." We can't imagine why not, and we hope we get more news about the "hyper cruiser" GT outside of magazine articles and auto show grandstanding.t.