Lamborghini Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory in Seattle, WashingtonEnlarge Photo
Carbon fiber has been slowly making its way into structural components for new cars in order to save weight while adding strength, but up until now no automaker has suggested that the composite could be used for engine internals.
Lamborghini's CEO told reporters in Washington, where it has its Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory, that the company's long-term plan for carbon fiber could include forming internal engine parts from the advanced material.
Carbon fiber connecting rods were the example that new Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenciali used, reports Automotive News. The executive suggested that the weight of the connecting rods could be cut by as much as 50 percent, which would increase the power output from the engine.
Research and development chief Maurizio Reggiani said that the company's successor to its Aventador could be the first model to utilize carbon fiber engine internals when it arrives in the next few years.
The automaker's Seattle facility employs just a half dozen people, but it is one of several automaker carbon composite centers in the Pacific Northwest. A new manufacturing process for carbon fiber that Lamborghini inaugurated a few years ago has helped reduce the cost of creating the material, which could in turn increase its likelihood of utilizing such advanced, weight-saving measures.