Lamborghini and MIT Partner Up to Develop New, Lighter Materials
Italian automaker is eyeing more innovation with the help of some brilliant young mindsby Kirby Garlitos, on
Lamborghini hasn’t been shy about reminding everyone that it’s one of the pioneers in using carbon fiber technology in the auto industry. It’s a badge of honor that the Italian automaker proudly wears to this day, but like any forward-thinking company, Lambo isn’t content with simply basking in its achievements. It’s setting its sights on discovering the next breakthrough in the business, and for this task, Lamborghini is collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, considered as one the best private research universities in the world.
The collaboration between Lambo and MIT largely revolves around creating new materials that can be adopted for use in future vehicles. It’s largely similar to the undertaking the company embarked on when it pioneered carbon fiber technology, except that this time, it’s got some of the brightest young engineers from MIT helping out. Together, engineers from Lambo will work closely with their counterparts from MIT to develop new and lighter materials that will allow the automaker to stay a step ahead in the high-stakes race to innovation that the exotic car market is known for.
No specific details were mentioned on what the partnership will constitute other than what has been mentioned. That said, Lamborghini could be working with MIT to determine how to expand the use of carbon fiber past what it’s already capable of doing by itself. There have been past reports that the the automaker is trying to figure out a method that would allow it to put carbon fiber into the engine, thus making it lighter and stronger than what it is today.
It’s an interesting proposition and having engineers from MIT help out could pave the way for Lamborghini to knock on yet another door that leads to a new innovation that has the potential to shake up the industry. Could this partnership with MIT turn into a redux of the time Lambo discovered forged composite process? Only time will tell, but having MIT in the fold is definitely going to help the Raging Bull’s chances.
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This is Lamborghini at its best
If you had asked to guess which automaker was working with MIT to develop “new and lighter materials” for potential use in future cars, Lamborghini would be one of my top answers. That’s just the kind of reputation that Lambo has cultivated in the industry. It’s not just about the fast supercars that it builds, it’s also about the ways and means by which the company has been able to develop these lightweight materials and integrate them into the cars it builds.
Remember, carbon fiber still has some “buzz” to it to this day, but Lamborghini first used the material back in the late 80’s on the Countach. That’s how long the company has been on the cutting edge of innovation and 26 years later, it’s still hustling its way to get ahead of the competition. Think about forged composite too. Back when the industry was adapting to using carbon fiber on a larger scale, Lambo was already cooking up ways to evolve carbon fiber and mold them into more sophisticated shapes than what the industry was capable of. That gave birth to forged composite, which we saw for the very first time on the Sesto Elemento. Today, forged composite is available through the automaker’s Ad Personam customization program.
Looking ahead, Lambo’s partnership with MIT isn’t the only thing of its kind that it has on its plate. Back in June 2016, it opened its own Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory in Seattle, Washington, which is shooting for the same objective of discovering new methods in developing lightweight materials. More recently, it inked a research agreement with Mitsubishi Rayon to develop ways to develop carbon fiber in mass quantities.
These are the kinds of R&Ds that Lamborghini dives head-on into, and as history will tell us, its track record is second to none.