Seattle — Carbon fiber body panels or trim pieces on a breathtakingly expensive supercar like a Lamborghini are old hat.
But carbon fiber connecting rods in the engine? Now that's exotic.
Such an advance is one of several carbon-based technologies Automobili Lamborghini is exploring at its new Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory in Seattle. The 8,000-square-foot shop opened last month, with Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali on hand for the ribbon cutting.
"These materials, this research, represents the future of our automotive vision," Domenicali told the gathered crowd.
That vision includes using carbon connectors rather than steel, cutting their weight between 40 and 50 percent. Using them in a V-12 engine would have many benefits, including noticeably improved power and acceleration.
Lamborghini's goal is to have the world's first production car with carbon connectors, the automaker's head of research and development, Maurizio Reggiani, told Automotive News, a sister publication of Plastics News.