Lamborghini’s Successor To The Aventador Could Feature A Revolutionary New Material
If it isn’t obvious at this point, Lamborghini’s newly opened Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory is the latest proof of the Italian automaker’s peerless passion for innovation. The facility may still smell new, but it’s already at work in developing new materials that could, in the words of CEO Stefano Domenicali, “represent the future of our automotive vision.” One of these materials is carbon fiber connecting rods in the engine, a new material that could find its way into the successor of Lambo’s current standard-bearer, the Aventador supercar.
Carbon-fiber connecting rods don’t sound sexy at all, but it could turn into a game-changing technology for Lamborghini and the entire industry if Lambo can prove its worth. According to Automotive News, these carbon fiber rods and connectors could eventually replace the steel versions being used today and save anywhere from 40 to 50 percent in weight. If Lamborghini can find a way to use these carbon fiber rods and connectors in a V-12 engine, it could result in a significant increase in power and acceleration for the car that will use it.
If anything, Lamborghini has shown that it’s more than willing to go all-in on these types of game-changing innovations, having done so numerous times in the past. The most notable recent example is the Sesto Elemento from 2010, which was made with a then-revolutionary forged composite construction technique. Even the rods themselves are made from the same forged composite material, something that Lamborghini creates by taking a premixed lump of carbon fibre and resin, dropping into a steel mold and applying lots of heat and pressure. The process itself only takes about three minutes, a lot faster than the traditional “prepreg” method, which itself takes about 12 hours to do.
It’s still not clear if these carbon fiber rods and connectors will be able to handle the stress of a V-12 engine, but that’s exactly what Lamborghini is testing to find out. In the event that the company determines that it could be included in the construction of a future V-12 engine, the soonest the public can see it would be around 2020 or 2021, or right around the time when Lamborghini introduces the replacement for the Aventador.
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Why it matters
You can always count on Lamborghini to be at the forefront of technological evolution in the world of supercars. The Italian automaker built its name and reputation on the back of some of the most important advancements the segment has seen so it’s not surprising that the company is once again putting itself in a similar position with the opening of its Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory.
The technology behind the carbon fiber connecting rods is still in its infancy, but what’s important to remember is that it promises to make the V-12 engines lighter, which, in turn helps increase the power and acceleration for the car that will end up using it.
It’s a bold step into the next frontier of technological advancement and yet, it’s not at all surprising knowing that Lamborghini is the one that’s right in the middle of it. That’s one of the reasons why the Italian automaker decided to open up this ground-breaking facility.
It’s not getting a lot of publicity because it deals more with the technical side of supercar development. But once this material is proven to be as good as Lamborghini claims it is, all the attention will shift into what the V-12 engines will be capable of doing. At that point, we can look back and say that this new carbon fiber technology played as big a part as any component in establishing a new standard for Lamborghini’s future supercars.
Read our full review on the Lamborghini Aventador here.
Source: Automotive News