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The history of composite materials at Lamborghini began in September 1982, when Giulio Alfieri, General Manager of Nuova Automobili Lamborghini, used European funding to start the design and construction of an experimental vehicle made with composite materials. For the occasion, he hired Rosario Vizzini, an aeronautic engineer from Alenia who had worked as a consultant at Boeing in Seattle, WA, for the design of the carbon-fiber vertical stabilizer of B-767 aircrafts.
In early 1983, Vizzini started the preliminary study for the design of a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) frame for the brand-new Lamborghini Countach, which was never officially presented. The Countach Evoluzione boasted a 100% carbon fiber composite bodywork and was about 500 kg lighter than the reference Countach models. Also the performance had improved: despite being equipped with an only slightly modified 490 CV standard engine, the Countach Evoluzione exceeded 330 km/h on the Nardò ring.
For over thirty years, Lamborghini has been developing carbon fiber technology and applying it to the automotive field, through an international research effort that also includes the Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory (ACSL) in Seattle.
Thanks to a partnership with Boeing, Lamborghini has opened up new vistas for composite materials, thus reaffirming its position as the leading car maker in carbon fiber research.
The collaborations established with partners from the aeronautic world have led to the Sesto Elemento, a highly technological project which translated into practice the design partnership with the aerospace world, achieving unprecedented results in the usage of carbon fiber.discover more
In Lamborghini's history, carbon-fiber with a thermosetting matrix, which owes its name to the fact that it hardens as the temperature rises, has been used since the 80s for the development of rigid structural and aesthetic components.
In order to express itself again through innovation, Automobili Lamborghini has drawn on the aerospace world, extending its concepts into the field of flexible materials. After years of research and development, it has conceived a new carbon-fiber material with a flexible matrix, suitable for the application in the vehicle interior.
Carbonskin® has been internally developed by Automobili Lamborghini's R&D team and the ACRC, and complies with all the validation and homologation requirements of the automotive world. This such product has been patented at the global level under the name Carbonskin®, and it is the only product in the world able to meet the quality and homologation criteria of the VW group.
This groundbreaking material also weighs less (-28% and -65% versus Alcantara and leather respectively), and presents unique aesthetic features, such as a carbon fiber natural feel, a 3D effect, and a softness that no other material can offer, as you will immediately feel with a touch of your hand.
The intensive use of carbon fiber in the structure of the vehicle cockpit and the constant development of technological processes have allowed Lamborghini to win a new challenge in 2011 with an innovative carbon-fiber monocoque used in the super sports car Aventador. Conceived and designed from the start as a single carbon-fiber structure, it is entirely made in the facilities of Sant'Agata Bolognese.