Lamborghini Jota To Give Up Top Speed Focus For Weight Reduction, Handling

Lamborghini Jota To Give Up Top Speed Focus For Weight Reduction, Handling
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Lamborghini is embarking on a pragmatic approach to supercar building with its Murcielago successor, known as the Jota. Rather than focus on top speed, the Jota will emphasize weight reduction, handling and acceleration prowess over brute force.

Lamborghini released a teaser today, showing what appear to be velocity stack openings for a possibly V10 engine. While the Murcielago had a V12, the downsize in power could be part of Lamborghini’s rhetoric discussing the importance of power-to-weight ratios and the incoming use of carbon fiber in their cars.

“From the middle of the Eighties, the average weight of our cars has increased by 500 kg because of active and passive safety, comfort and emissions reduction issues, and this is something that we have to change,” the release stated, in a refreshingly honest critique of modern supercars.

The Jota is expected to debut at this years Paris Auto Show, and Autoguide will be on hand to cover the launch.

[Source: Lamborghini]

Hit the jump to see the official press release

Lamborghini. Carbon dated. Paris 2010. September 30, from 7.45 am

Lamborghini’s Manifesto for future supersportscars

“Lamborghini stands for extreme and uncompromising supersportscars of the best Italian tradition. Tradition as a value however, lives at Lamborghini alongside innovation.

We are redefining the future of our supersportscars around the two main reasons to buy: design and performance. Design has been and always will be reason number one, and we will make sure a Lamborghini will always be recognizable through its significant stylistic features.

Regarding performance, until few years ago priorities were, in this order: top speed, acceleration and handling. In recent years this has been changing. Together with design, handling and acceleration are becoming more important. Speed is not as important anymore, because all supersportscars are exceeding 300km/h (186 mph) and this is a speed that you cannot reach even on a racetrack, let alone normal roads. We think it is time to make a shift and talk more about handling and acceleration.

The key factor in terms of better handling and acceleration, meaning more immediate pleasure in driving, is the power-to-weight ratio. This is not so much about top speed and so the future will not be so focused on increasing the power, even because CO2 emissions do play a role for supersportscars too. That means the key is in reducing the weight.

A crucial part of this is to understand how to reduce the weight. From the middle of the Eighties, the average weight of our cars has increased by 500 kg because of active and passive safety, comfort and emissions reduction issues, and this is something that we have to change. Since we cannot reduce safety or comfort in our cars, we have to reduce the weight by using new materials.

The magic word for this is “carbon fiber”. We started working with carbon fiber in Sant’Agata Bolognese over thirty years ago and today, with our two laboratories in Sant’Agata Bolognese and in Seattle, We are mastering a broad range of technologies which put us in a leadership position for low-volume production.

Every new Lamborghini will make the best use of carbon fiber to reduce weight.”

Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini SpA

Sant’Agata Bolognese, 14th  September 2010