The Lamborghini Manifesto: Why It's Cool That We're Ditching The V12
Several weeks back, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann was hinting to Forbes that weight loss would be crucial to the Lambo future (he also revealed that the brand’s best-selling colors “are white, black and the grey tones”). As the hype builds towards the release of the new Murcielago-replacing Jota, Winkelmann has released a “manifesto” that he says will guide Lamborghini into a sustainable future.
Alternatively, it could also be seen as an after-the-fact justification for Lamborghini’s decision to ditch the V12. After all, the Jota teaser image released with the Winkelmann-ifesto hints very strongly at a ten-cylinder drivetrain… which means the era of V12-powered Lamborghini flagships is probably about to end. Can one little manifesto really explain that kind of brand-defying break with tradition? Hit the jump to judge for yourself.
Lamborghini stands for extreme and uncompromising supersportscars of the best Italian tradition. Tradition as a value however, lives at Lamborghini alongside innovation.We are redefining the future of our supersportscars around the two main reasons to buy: design and performance.
Regarding performance, until few years ago priorities were, in this order: top speed, acceleration and handling. In recent years this has been changing. Together with design, handling and acceleration are becoming more important. Speed is not as important anymore, because all supersportscars are exceeding 300km/h (186 mph) and this is a speed that you cannot reach even on a racetrack, let alone normal roads. We think it is time to make a shift and talk more about handling and acceleration.
The key factor in terms of better handling and acceleration, meaning more immediate pleasure in driving, is the power-to-weight ratio. This is not so much about top speed and so the future will not be so focused on increasing the power, even because CO2 emissions do play a role for supersportscars too. That means the key is in reducing the weight.
A crucial part of this is to understand how to reduce the weight. From the middle of the Eighties, the average weight of our cars has increased by 500 kg because of active and passive safety, comfort and emissions reduction issues, and this is something that we have to change. Since we cannot reduce safety or comfort in our cars, we have to reduce the weight by using new materials.
The magic word for this is “carbon fiber”. We started working with carbon fiber in Sant’Agata Bolognese over thirty years ago and today, with our two laboratories in Sant’Agata Bolognese and in Seattle, We are mastering a broad range of technologies which put us in a leadership position for low-volume production.
Every new Lamborghini will make the best use of carbon fiber to reduce weight.
Findude on Sep 15, 2010
" . . . the average weight of our cars has increased by 500 kg because of active and passive safety, comfort and emissions reduction issues . . . " Let's see. 500 kg is about 1,100 pounds. We've got seat belts, airbags, door reinforcements, catalytic converter, etc. etc. It's bogus to blame an 1,100 pound weight increase on safety and emissions, so there must be a lot of comfort in there. I'd love to see a breakdown of how much these things actually weigh. It really sounds like a scapegoat argument to me.
Dr Lemming on Sep 15, 2010
Any time there is a shift in social mores the traditionalists will complain . . . and then a few years later no one will remember what the argument was about. I suspect that will happen here. After all, how many buyers just have to have a V12? The carbon footprint issue might be better viewed at a corporate rather than a brand level. A V12 Lambo can become a potent symbol of evil to the greenies. If VW switches to a V10 and carbon fiber at least it can wrap itself in the flag of green innovation.
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