Carbon fiber body panels, seats, wings and even wheels are not unheard of, but now Lamborghini wants to use the lightweight material to make internal engine components.
Speaking with Automotive News, Lambo CEO Maurizio Reggiani admitted that the Italian supercar maker is developing carbon fiber connecting rods for the next-generation Aventador. “I [hope] that in one, one-and-a-half years, we are able to finish development and say this can be a part that can be in the future in the engine,” said Reggiani. “I hope that we are able to have something in production soon.” Carbon fiber is certainly not foreign to Lamborghini, which has built the body of cars like the Centenario (picture above) nearly entirely from the material.
These new lightweight connecting rods are 40 to 50 percent lighter than the current steel units, allowing the engine to get more of its power down to the wheels improving acceleration. The successor to the Aventador is expected to arrive in 2020 as a 2021 model.
Lamborghini’s new Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory located in Seattle, Wash. will produce the new parts using forged composite, a method that is much faster than traditional carbon fiber forming. Rather than laying the cabon-fiber cloth in a mold and baking it or injecting resin into the mold at high pressure, Lambo’s method takes premixed carbon fibers and resin and presses it into a mold with massive force and heat, needing only three minutes to prepare a piece for finishing, compared to the hours the other methods take.
Seattle was chosen the facility as Lambo has a partnership with Boeing, working towards carbon fiber innovations that benefit both automatic and aerospace.
[Source: Automotive News]
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