Carbon fiber is nothing new in the automotive realm, but in this day and age, we’re seeing more of it than ever before. The majority of it is used to craft the body panels and aero bits of the various supercars produced today. Recently, one of the supercar manufacturers known for using this lightweight, rigid material is looking to make the move to creating engine components from it.
Automotive News was at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Lambo’s new Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory and learned a bit about this new goal. The plan, according to the report, is to craft the connecting rods for the supercar manufacturer’s V-12 engine from carbon fiber. This would cut their weight by 40 to 50 percent, which in turn would allow the engine to crank faster and increase acceleration. The new material would also help increase the output potential for this engine.
The company’s head of research and development, Maurizio Reggiani, told the publication, “I [hope] that in one, one-and-a-half years, we are able to finish development and say this can be a part that can be in the future in the engine,” which means we’ll likely see this sooner rather than later.
On the manufacturing side of things, Lamborghini doesn’t plan to use traditional means to craft these con rods, like press or resin-transfer molding. Instead, it plans to forge the carbon fiber just like steel, dropping production time to just three minutes instead of the 12-hour press molding or 3-hour resin-transfer molding processes.
While this all sounds great on the surface, remember that this is still in the development phase and there is little to no research showing how well a carbon-fiber connecting rod would actually work. We’ll continue monitoring this developing story and bring you updates as they become available.
Stay tuned for more.