Lamborghini is just weeks away from revealing a successor to the Aventador, a V-12 plug-in hybrid code-named the LB744. On Tuesday, the automaker provided a look at the car's rolling chassis.
The chassis features a carbon-fiber monocoque structure, just like the Aventador, but new elements like a carbon-fiber front frame and Formula 1-style carbon-fiber front crash cones that help boost torsional stiffness and also save weight.
According to Lamborghini, the LB744's chassis, which features the aeronautics-inspired name of monofuselage, features a torsional stiffness 25% higher than in the Aventador but a weight that's 10% lighter. Most of the weight savings come from the new carbon-fiber front frame, which Lamborghini said is 20% lighter than the aluminum frame used in the Aventador.
Further weight savings come from a carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic ring structure that forms the central supporting structure of the car. The single piece, which encloses and connects the central passenger tub, front firewall, and A-pillar supports, replaces several separate pieces on the Aventador.
Most of the carbon-fiber components are made using Lamborghini's patented forged carbon process. Here, short strips of carbon fiber are mixed with resin, placed into a heated mold, and then cured under high pressure. The process can produce a part in as little as three minutes, greatly reducing the manufacturing time compared to traditional carbon-fiber components.
Lamborghini still uses the traditional process of laying sheets of pre-impregnated carbon fiber then curing them in an autoclave for the roof structure of the LB744's chassis.
Lamborghini Aventador successor's V-12 plug-in hybrid powertrain
The rear of the chassis where the V-12 engine and transmission sit is still made from aluminum. Here too some weight has been saved thanks to the use of hollow castings that integrate the rear suspension’s shock towers and the powertrain supports into a single component. The design also helps boost rigidity, Lamborghini said.
The chassis is only one of several major new elements Lamborghini has developed for the LB744. Earlier this month the automaker showed off the car's drivetrain, which consists of a newly developed 6.5-liter V-12, a new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, and three electric motors. Two of the motors power the front wheels, while the third motor is integrated with the transmission and helps power the rear wheels. The three motors can work without the engine, giving the car electric all-wheel drive, albeit for short distances only. The combined output is 1,000 hp.