It’s called the Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory and it’s got ambitious goals in mind for Lambo

Lamborghini has officially cut the ribbon on its new Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory in Seattle, Washington, paving the way for the Italian automaker to continue its relentless pursuit in further developing carbon fiber technology. The research center is going to operate as an outside entity from Lambo’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese and will have one core mission: unlock and maximize the full potential of carbon fiber technology to make future Lamborghini supercars faster and lighter than they’ve ever been.

Lamborghini’s decision to open the ACSL facility in Seattle is a strategic one that’s partly brought about by the company’s collaboration with Boeing, the airline manufacturer who has its own state-of-the-art production facility located within an hour’s drive of Lambo’s new ACSL facility. The two companies have a long-standing partnership in developing carbon fiber innovations. Having Lambo’s research center be so close to Boeing’s massive production facility should help add a new wrinkle to their joint research and development of carbon fiber technology.

The opening of the ACSL is also tinged with history, at least as far as Lamborghini is concerned, as the grand opening of the facility coincided with the 30th anniversary of the automaker using carbon fiber reinforced polymer in its cars. The first Lamborghini to use carbon fiber was the Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole back in 1986 and to this day, the Italian automaker has continued to rely on the strong and lightweight material in the development of its cars. The technology has admittedly evolved since then, none more important than the development of forged composite, which made its debut in 2010 when it was used on the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento.

Needless to say, Lamborghini is very serious about its carbon fiber development and the opening of this research facility is another step for the Italian automaker to assert its industry-leading expertise on the material. Think the fully exposed carbon fiber body of the Lamborghini Centenario is as good as it’s going to get for Lambo? Think again.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

Lamborghini Celebrates Opening Of Carbon Fiber Research Center In Seattle
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It goes without saying that Lamborghini is really serious about its carbon fiber technology. Actually, even that feels like an understatement considering the lengths Lambo has gone in demonstrating its expertise in the material. It’s also fitting that the company, instead of concentrating the development of carbon fiber technology in Italy, is moving it all the way to Seattle where one of its partners in this endeavor - Boeing - has its own production plant.

I honestly don’t know what the end game is here, but I am excited about the possibilities of having Lamborghini and Boeing continue to push for the development of carbon fiber tech. That pursuit should be made easier now that their respective facilities are so close to one another. If anything, this partnership should be able to yield some impressive results much faster as those “results” could be applied into Lambo’s cars and Boeing’s planes sooner than anticipated.

That’s one of the advantages of having this facility in Seattle, but it’s also not the only one. Lost in the hoopla of the ACSL’s grand opening is the fact that it’s not the only automaker that has a carbon fiber facility in the region. BMW also operates a plant in Moses Lake, Washington that produces the carbon fiber materials that the German automaker ends up using on models like the BMW i3 and i8. Bimmer’s facility in Washington is so important to the company as a whole that it’s continually being talked up to expand because of the demand for carbon fiber. It also helps that BMW has its own relationship with Boeing so the pieces fit as to why the two automakers chose Washington as the location of their respective carbon fiber research, development, and production facilities.

In Lamborghini’s case, the opening of the ACSL is the first step towards developing new uses for carbon fiber. Where it goes from here is anyone’s guess, but given how long the company has relied on the material, I’m willing to bet that Lamborghini will make every resource available to make its new laboratory in Washington successful.

Press Release

Automobili Lamborghini is celebrating the grand opening for the new Seattle-based carbon fiber research facility, the Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory (ACSL).

Lamborghini Celebrates Opening Of Carbon Fiber Research Center In Seattle
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Operating as an entity outside of the company’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese, the ACSL is responsible for unlocking new potential in carbon fiber. The breakthroughs that take place here go on to influence developments in Lamborghinis of the future. The official grand opening of the new ACSL also marks the 30th anniversary of Lamborghini’s use of carbon fiber reinforced polymer in its vehicles.

"Carbon fiber is a material that Lamborghini has a long history with. Starting with the Countach Quattrovalvole and continuing today, it is one of the most important keys to the success of our cars in the past, present and future," said Stefano Domenicali, Automobili Lamborghini Chief Executive Officer.

Seattle is a strategic location for the ACSL, particularly because of its collaboration with Boeing in working toward carbon fiber innovations that are beneficial in both automotive and aerospace applications.

"Seattle is a nexus for innovation and Lamborghini’s choice to base its carbon fiber research center here reflects that," Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee said, "Lamborghini’s Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory, their continued success in developing breakthrough technology, and their collaboration with Boeing is a benefit and a point of pride for the city and the state of Washington."

Forged Composite® is one of the most important developments to come from research within the ACSL which shortens the amount of production time required to form components by comparison the traditional labor techniques.

The technology made its debut in 2010 with the Sesto Elemento limited series supercar where it served in a structural capacity and as proof of how capable the rapid-formed material is. Such continued refinements in the manufacturing process have allowed Lamborghini to enhance its finished product for structural and aesthetical application in 2013.

Lamborghini Celebrates Opening Of Carbon Fiber Research Center In Seattle
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"By continuing to develop our patented Forged Composite materials, we are able to create a product that can enhance Lamborghini super sports cars in both their performance and their appearance," said Maurizio Reggiani, Board Member, R&D. "The ability to leverage this kind of lightweight material gives Lamborghini an advantage that will benefit our cars – as well as production process - in the future."

Lamborghini’s dedication to leading the industry in carbon fiber innovation goes beyond material development through the ACSL to find and recruit young, talented engineers from around the world.

Lamborghini debuted the latest car to showcase its mastery of carbon fiber during the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The Centenario, which was on display for the exclusive event, is available in a body made of fully exposed carbon fiber.

Meant to mark what would have been company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday, the Centenario is a marriage between acknowledgements of past milestones and technological "firsts." Appropriately, it is only available in a very limited production run of 20 coupes and 20 Roadsters.

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