Automobili Lamborghini has opened a carbon fiber research facility in Seattle. The Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory (ACSL) is responsible for unlocking new potential in carbon fiber. The official grand opening of the new ACSL also marked the 30th anniversary of Lamborghini's use of carbon fiber reinforced polymer in its vehicles.
|Lamborghini aims to further research into carbon fiber composites at its facility in Seattle.|
"Carbon fiber is a material that Lamborghini has a long history with. Starting with the Countach Quattrovalvole and continuing today, it is one of the most important keys to the success of our cars in the past, present and future," said Stefano Domenicali, Automobili Lamborghini Chief Executive Officer.
Seattle is a strategic location for the ACSL, particularly because of its collaboration with Boeing in working toward carbon fiber innovations that are beneficial in both automotive and aerospace applications. "Seattle is a nexus for innovation and Lamborghini's choice to base its carbon fiber research center here reflects that," Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee said, "Lamborghini's Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory, their continued success in developing breakthrough technology, and their collaboration with Boeing is a benefit and a point of pride for the city and the state of Washington."
Forged Composite is one of the most important developments to come from research within the ACSL which shortens the amount of production time required to form components compared with traditional labor techniques. The technology is based on chopped carbon fiber-reinforced SMC.
The technology made its debut in 2010 with the Sesto Elemento limited series supercar where it served in a structural capacity and as proof of how capable the rapid-formed material is. Such continued refinements in the manufacturing process have allowed Lamborghini to enhance its finished product for structural and aesthetical application in 2013.
"By continuing to develop our patented Forged Composite materials, we are able to create a product that can enhance Lamborghini super sports cars in both their performance and their appearance," said Maurizio Reggiani, Board Member, R&D. "The ability to leverage this kind of lightweight material gives Lamborghini an advantage that will benefit our cars – as well as production process - in the future."
Lamborghini debuted the latest car to showcase its mastery of carbon fiber during the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The Centenario, which was on display for the exclusive event, is available in a body made of fully exposed carbon fiber. Powered by a 770-hp engine and weighing in at 3,351 lb., the Centenario LP770-4 can accelerate from zero 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds.
Meant to mark what would have been company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini's 100th birthday, the Centenario is only available in a very limited production run of 20 coupes and 20 roadsters.