TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN BY WEIGHT REDUCTION
Lamborghini’s plans to reduce CO2 emissions from its super sports cars by means of technical innovations are no less ambitious, with engineers aiming for a 35 percent cut by 2015. One such engineer is Attilio Masini, a research coordinator specializing in composite materials. Masini arrives for the interview in the research workshop carrying a rear spoiler – and begins by talking about airplanes. Just the day before, he was at the offices of aircraft constructor Airbus in Hamburg, talking to the resident experts about carbon fiber technology. “In this area, there are interesting overlaps between high-performance aircraft and high-performance sports cars,” Masini explains. Lamborghini has especially close ties with another manufacturer, Boeing, as both companies support a carbon fiber research laboratory at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA.
Essentially, carbon fiber components offer enormous potential for weight reduction. “With the latest Murciélago model, the LP 670-4 SuperVeloce, for example, using carbon fiber parts allows us to shed around 100 kilograms in weight compared with the previous model,” says Masini. By way of demonstration, he lifts the spoiler up and down in his right hand like a weightlifter pumping a ridiculously light dumbbell: “And that in turn means lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.”
Reducing vehicle weight is just one of many environmentally relevant aspects. For instance, developers are also working on enhancing fuel combustion and on developing start- stop systems, hybrid solutions and biofuel applications. A prime example of this innovation in action is the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4, which produces just short of 20 percent fewer CO2 emissions than its predecessor.
PERFORMANCE AND RESPONSIBILITY
Over the next five years, Lamborghini plans to invest €35 million in environmentally-friendly improvements to its production methods and to the sports cars themselves. “And despite the weak global economy, we will stick to this ambitious program 100 percent,” promises Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Lamborghini. “Our industrial vision combines competitiveness and performance with social responsibility. We have committed ourselves to these goals and we will stand by them.”
Left: THE GREEN OFFENSIVE – The CO2 emission level is measured in the climate room. By 2015, Lamborghini aims to reduce the CO2 emissions of its vehicle fleet by 35 percent.
Middle: TECHNOLOGY WITH A FUTURE – Attilio Masini, lightweight construction expert at Lamborghini, is involved in developing new super sports cars using carbon fiber composite materials.
Right: OBJECT OF DESIRE – Before the vehicle is delivered, the paintwork is high-polished by hand –as is the case here with the only current Lamborghini with a rear-wheel drive, the 550 PS Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni.