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Lamborghini: carbon fiber development in 12 steps

9 September 2021
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Lamborghini Media Center

One of the key elements that make Lamborghini an absolute leader in the automotive industry is the innovative development and application of lightweight carbon fiber materials. Since 1983, in fact, the use of composite materials has consistently been one of the major strengths of Lamborghini products. 

Let’s retrace together this extraordinary story in 12 steps.

1983: the first carbon fiber chassis prototype produced
The Countach Evoluzione was the first Lamborghini model to use composite materials. In the same year, the first in-house composites department took shape, started up thanks to the know-how developed on the first carbon fiber and Kevlar components of the Boeing 767. 

2007: collaboration with the University of Washington began
The collaboration with UW marked an important turning point in the development of out-of-autoclave RTM technology, which would become the basis for the monocoque of the future Aventador.

2008: first collaboration agreement with Boeing signed
With this agreement, Lamborghini began studying the crash behavior of composite materials and implementing technologies, processes and methods of simulation and characterization specific to aeronautics and the aerospace industry.

2010: launch of Forged Composites® technology
This specific patent gave rise to the idea of the Sesto Elemento supercar. In the same year, the Lamborghini production site inaugurated a plant dedicated to the production of components in composite materials, which alternates between automated production phases and phases of precision craftsmanship. 

2011: debut of the new Aventador LP 700-4
Engineered with a unique structure, the Aventador was the first Lamborghini model made entirely of carbon fiber. The innovative monocoque, produced with “RTM-Lambo” technology, guaranteed a chassis weighing just 229.5 kg and paved the wave for a future of extensive experimentation. 

2014: TÜV certification for the repair service
Lamborghini’s repair service for carbon fiber cars obtained certification for the requirements of accountability, traceability, reliability, punctuality and accuracy of the service provided, following an audit conducted by TÜV Italia experts. 

2015: Carbonskin® is born
Another exclusive Lamborghini patent brought to life was Carbonskin®, an innovative material that offers not only weight savings but also unique aesthetic characteristics such as the natural feel of carbon fiber, the three-dimensional effect, and a softness that is immediately perceivable to the touch.

2016: the new laboratory dedicated to carbon fiber research
The Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory (ACSL) was inaugurated in Seattle, operating as an external entity from the Lamborghini headquarters and responsible for studying the new potentials of carbon fiber.

2017: research project launched with Houston Methodist Research Institute 
Lamborghini placed its expertise at the service of medicine in this project focusing on studying the biocompatibility of composite materials used in prosthetic implants and subcutaneous devices, with the aim of identifying new materials that would be lighter, better tolerated by the human body, and more durable over time.

2019: the first tests in outer space
Lamborghini became the first automaker in the world to initiate research on carbon fiber materials aboard the International Space Station (ISS), studying the response of five different composite materials to the extreme stresses induced by the space environment.

2021: debut of the Lamborghini Essenza SCV12
The Essenza SCV12 became the first vehicle on the market with carbon fiber roll cage approved according to FIA Hypercar safety standards. This extraordinary achievement was the result of Lamborghini’s thirty years of experience in the study and application of composite materials in the automotive field.

Today: sustainability and waste recycling
Lamborghini has always been attentive to the environmental sustainability of its production processes. The choice of specific production technologies now makes it possible to reduce energy consumption and composite material waste, which is reused in other applications on Lamborghini cars, with a view to ensuring the genuine circular sustainability of carbon fiber.

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