Instead of working on increasing its horsepower, Lamborghini will now be targeting performance gains by using lighter materials to reduce vehicle weight. Its drivetrain specialists have said the company will move away from the focus on increasing engine thrust. CEO Stephan Winkelmann said that they have reached a point where acceleration equals consumption.
And when there's more consumption, it only means that there's increased CO2 emissions. To avoid future government regulations, Lamborghini will be spending more on r&d that seeks to drop the weight of the cars.
In an interview this month at the Detroit Auto Show, Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini's r&d chief, said that the "pursuit of top speed is limited by the physics of aerodynamic resistance." He explained that as soon as the car reaches 211 mph, there is a declining rate of return for each additional horsepower needed to push the vehicle faster.
Besides, he said that there are few places in the world where a driver can go that fast. Reggiani confirmed that Lamborghini will focus on acceleration instead of top speed. The most effective way to do that would be to work on the weight-to-power ratio.
Reggiani said that it will "use composite materials in the right place, when it also has the right cost, stiffness and mechanical characteristics." This is likely to be an expensive solution as Lamborghini has used mostly high-strength steel in its vehicles' structures and body panels. However, Reggiani said that there will be greater use of aluminum and carbon fiber.
Lamborghini has been seen to have some progress with its re-engineered Murcielago LP670-4 SV. The new version of the car dropped 220 pounds and added 30 hp.
The weight reduction was done mostly through use of carbon fiber. The "670" in the car's name reflects its horsepower rating. The car is able to reach 62 mph in 3.2 seconds. [via autonews - sub. required]