The fact that Lamborghini, or any other supercar manufacturer, uses carbon fiber in order to build body panels, is by no means a novelty nowadays.
What might strike you as being more “exotic” is actually using carbon fiber for the connecting rods in the engine. This is just one of many carbon-based technologies that Lamborghini is currently researching at its new 8,000-square foot Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory in Seattle.
During the inauguration, CEO Stefano Domenicali spoke to the crowd saying that “these materials, this research represents the future of our automotive vision.”
This vision now includes using carbon fiber connectors rather than steel ones, which in turn should reduce their weight by anywhere between 40 and 50%. Also, using them in a V12 engine would also improve both power and acceleration.
In an interview with Autonews, Lamborghini’s head of R&D, Maurizio Reggiani said that he hopes “that in one, one-and-a-half years, we are able to finish development and say this can be a part that can be in the future in the engine. I hope that we are able to have something in production soon.”
Reggiani also confirmed that such a feature could end up in the Aventador’s successor, due in 2020 or 2021.
The technology differs to what McLaren use for the tubs in their supercars for example, more specifically the “prepreg” carbon-fiber cloth hand-pressed into molds or the resin transfer molding. Instead, Lamborghini wants to use forged composites by taking a premixed lump of carbon fibers and resin, dropping it into a steel mold and apply lots of heat and pressure.
After three minutes, a piece is already cleared for finishing – marking a significant reduction from the 12 hour and 3-hour cycle times used for prepreg and resin transfer moldings. It was this technology that Lamborghini used on approximately 80% of its Sesto Elemento supercar back in 2010.