Lamborghini Teams Up With Mitsubishi Rayon To Develop Carbon Fiber Technology
Partnership could help Lamborghini increase its production volumeby Kirby Garlitos, on
It certainly goes without saying that Lamborghini holds the distinction of being one of the pioneers on the automotive application of carbon fiber technology. The Italian automaker has been using the premium material for around 30 years dating all the way back to the Lamborghini Countach. But even with that status, Lamborghini continues to be proactive in the innovation of carbon fiber, having recently opened a carbon fiber research center in Washington. Now, the company is partnering with Mitsubishi Rayon, a Japanese textiles company owned by Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings.
Details are still vague on the specifics of the partnership other than the all-encompassing objective of collaborating on further research and development of carbon fiber shells and panels that can be used for mass production. It is worth noting though that the partnership could be tied into Lamborghini’s upcoming production of the Urus. Lamborghini has high expectations for the SUV as it is being targeted as the model that will spearhead the automaker’s push to double its sales volume to 7,000 units a year by 2019 with the Urus accounting for half of that total.
Given the existing volume of cars that Lamborghini produces these days – the company can produce five chassis per day – there’s going to be a need to accelerate production without any drops in efficiency to accommodate the arrival of the Urus. That’s likely where Mitsubishi Rayon’s expertise comes into the picture. The firm is regarded as one of Japan’s biggest makers of acrylic fabric, the same material that’s used in the development of carbon fiber. If Lamborghini needs help in developing tools and methods in mass producing carbon fiber to coincide with its own increase in production, collaborating with Mitsubishi Rayon is as good a partnership as any to help the Italian automaker achieve its goals.
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There’s something to be said for a company that knows what its expertise and still looks for help in improving upon what it already knows. That’s what Lamborghini is doing here and the company is playing it smart by tapping into Mitsubishi Rayon’s own expertise in carbon fiber development. I don’t know for a fact if Lamborghini can ramp up its production without getting any help from another company, but it certainly doesn’t hurt having one of the biggest companies in the world that knows as much about carbon fiber on its side.
It’s no secret that Japan accounts for 60 percent of the world’s carbon fiber production. Mitsubishi Rayon plays a big part in that and that’s arguably one of the biggest reasons why Lambo is partnering with the company. If anything, the Italian automaker could benefit from this alliance past its intended objectives. Maybe the two companies end up developing a more advanced version of carbon fiber that the industry has not seen before. These are the kinds of things that are in play when you have two companies that are experts in the same field brainstorming on how to take that field to the next level.
As somebody who appreciates the technological advancements in the auto industry, I’m excited to see what comes out of this Lamborghini-Mitsubishi Rayon partnership. It’s no secret that Lambo has expertly utilized carbon fiber technology with its cars. From the pre-preg carbon fibers that were used in the Countach to the forged carbon composites that we saw in the Lamborghini Centenario, there’s no telling what this partnership can come up with next that will not only help Lamborghini enhance its own lineup of supercars, but also increase its production efficiency in time for the arrival of the Urus SUV.
Source: Car Advice