Car makers ask the website, magazine and forum journos, writers and wannabes to keep lids on certain cars until a certain time when they’re willing to show off their hard work. This is called an embargo. So you may see embargoed pictures and information get leaked ahead of time, typically by quick fingered forum owners and over-seas magazines. Even though it’ll be revealed this week at the Geneva Motor Show, we just couldn’t go a day without seeing what the new Lamborghini would look like, could we?
One car, though, that’s been shown quite a bit in magazines and on websites and forums is Lamborghini’s Murciélago replacement, dubbed the Aventador LP700-4. I’m sorry, what does Aventador mean, you ask? Well, uh… yeah. I don’t know. No one really knows as of right now. I typed it in to Google Translate and got “fan” for a Spanish to English meaning. Doing it from Italian to English reveals that it means Aventador…
So we’ll leave it up to our imagination. And mine is saying that it belongs to some special Spanish bull. Oh wait, that’s been done already… Anyway, its brand new 6.5-liter V12 will produce 700 hp and 509 lb-ft of torque. So expect a 0-60 time of roughly 2.9 seconds from the factory, and probably 2.6-2.8 seconds once writers get a drive in one. Top speed is up to 217 mph. To help put the power to the wheels is an all-new transmission Lamborghini is calling the ISR, or Independent Shifting Rod, is supposed to be around 174 lbs lighter than a conventional double-clutch gearbox.
The monocoque chassis is made completely of carbon fiber with the suspension being a pushrod unit with “race-car precision”, as well as double wishbones and carbon ceramic brakes.
Feel free to read the press releases and look at the images below.
New Suspension Press Release:
Geneva 2011 – Murciélago successor introduces pushrod suspensions in series production for the first time
• New V12 super sports car with pushrod suspension for race-car precision
• Detailed lightweight engineering concept with double wishbone suspension and carbon ceramic brake system
• Unique ‘motorsport’ feel combined with long-distance comfort
Sant’Agata Bolognese, 24th January 2011 – The new Lamborghini V12 super sports car which will debut at the upcoming Geneva motorshow will feature an innovative and highly sophisticated suspension concept. The pushrod spring and damper concept was inspired by Formula 1 and tuned perfectly to meet the needs of a high-performance road-going vehicle. Together with aluminum double wishbone suspension and a carbon ceramic brake system, this lightweight chassis is another element of the unique technology concept in Lamborghini’s new flagship model.
An extremely precise, indeed razor-sharp, driving feel accurately describes the soul of the newest and most powerful super sports car ever to bear the sign of the bull. This includes a steering system that can think its way through a bend adhering to the perfect line, a suspension that masters the ideal balance between race-car feel for the road and plenty of comfort for ramping up the miles, and lateral stability that ensures absolute safety even at the very highest speeds.
Pushrod suspension derived from motorsport
With its phenomenal engine output of 515 kW / 700 hp and its comparatively low vehicle weight, the new V12 super sports car from Lamborghini blasts its way to the very highest speeds. The most important characteristic of the new suspension is its design in line with the pushrod principle – inspired by Formula 1. The spring/damper elements are not located on the wheel mounts, but connected inboard to the bodyshell structure. They are transversely positioned: under the windscreen in the front and close to the engine in the rear. Pushrods and relay levers / rockers transmit the forces from the wheel mounts to the spring/damper elements.
Responsive handling characteristics at all speeds
This solution offers a whole series of impressive benefits: due to the combination of the double wishbone and pushrod arrangement, wheel control and damper remain separate from each other. As a result, handling is more responsive and easier to manage at all speeds, while rigid connection to the chassis also improves the precise and spontaneous reaction of the springs and dampers. As a result, spring stiffness can be notched back a little – comfort increases, while precision remains. On the front axle, the shock absorbers are equipped with a hydraulic lifting system, which enables the front end of the super sports car to be lifted by 40 millimeters at the touch of a button, simplifying its ability to negotiate minor obstacles.
Systematic lightweight engineering in aluminum and carbon fiber
Aluminum and carbon fiber are also the most important lightweight engineering materials on the chassis. The entire suspension system, including upper and lower control arms, wheel mounts and relay levers are made from forged aluminum alloy. The large-diameter discs on the high-performance brake system, on the other hand, are made from lightweight and extremely hard- wearing carbon ceramic composite material. On the front axle, the ventilated discs measure no less than 400 millimeters in diameter, with braking force delivered via six cylinder calipers. On the rear axle, 380 millimeter diameter discs are used in combination with four cylinder calipers. The parking brake on the new Lamborghini top model is electrically powered.
Steering forms the sensitive connection between driver and automobile
The hydraulic steering on the Lamborghini V12 forms the highly sensitive connection between the driver and the super sports car, which runs on 19-inch wheels clad on 255/35 tires at the front and 20-inch rims on 335/30 tires at the rear. Steering Gear foresees 3 different servotronic characteristics managed by drive select mode. After all, not every day is the same and the “corsa” (race track) setting can perhaps sometimes be a little too demanding.
Carbon Fiber Monocoque Press Release:
Lamborghini makes no compromises in the engineering and construction of its new flagship’s all-carbon fiber monocoque
• Monocoque forms a single shell in carbon fiber
• Built entirely in-house by Lamborghini with patented process
Sant’Agata Bolognese, February 11th, 2011 – Lamborghini’s Geneva motor show launch of its Murciélago replacement promises an extraordinary new technology-driven super sports car. One significant feature will be the extensive use of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) technology throughout the car, and in particular, in the entirely carbon fiber composite monocoque.
The cell of the future Lamborghini flagship super sports car is made entirely from carbon fiber and has been designed as a monocoque structure. The loadbearing structure of the vehicle is engineered as a “single shell” that functions physically as one component, thus taking full advantage of the extreme rigidity of CFRP. Formula 1 race cars have been built using CFRP monocoques for many years – and have proven their crash worthiness time and again. The same
applies to road-going sports cars featuring monocoque technology – the carbon
fiber occupant cell functions like an extremely safe roll cage.
Construction offer many advantages
Of course, the term “single shell” applies only in the descriptive sense – the new Lamborghini monocoque is made from a series of individual parts with specific functions, such as stiffening elements made from Braiding technology, that is one of the best technology to manage energy adsorption in case of crash. After the curing process, however, this structure functions as a single component – including the base section known as the tub and the complete roof.
The full monocoque solution offers advantages which other processes, like a tub where a metal roof structure is attached in a conventional manner, cannot realize. That’s why Lamborghini made the no compromise choice of the full monocoque, which weighs only 147.5 kilograms (324.5 lbs).
Extremely rigid construction
Superior passive safety is only one benefit of the extreme rigidity of a full carbon fiber monocoque – very high torsional rigidity is another. The monocoque is connected at the front and rear with equally rigid aluminum sub-frames, on which the suspension, engine and transmission are mounted.
The entire body-in-white of the future V12 model weighs only 229.5 kilograms (505 lbs) and boasts phenomenal torsional rigidity of 35,000 Newton meters per degree of twist. This guarantees a superb feeling of solidity, but, more importantly, extremely exact wheel control with excellent steering precision and sensitive feedback. For the dedicated driver, both are essential for truly enticing driving pleasure. The new Lamborghini flagship responds to the most
minute steering input with the stunning precision of a perfectly balanced race car.
Depending on the form, function and requirements of the individual elements, the Lamborghini development team selected from three main CFRP manufacturing methods within its technology tool kit. They differ not only in their production processes, but also in the type of carbon fiber and its weave and, most importantly, in the chemical composition of the synthetic resin used.
Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM): In this process the carbon fiber mats are preformed and impregnated with an exact amount of resin. Afterwards, they are cured under heat while the part is in the mold. Lamborghini has achieved a major breakthrough by further developmening this method. Using the patented “RTM-Lambo” process, the final mold is no longer a heavy, complex metal piece, but is made instead from lightweight carbon-fiber parts, thus making the manufacturing process faster, more flexible and more efficient.
An additional benefit of the RTM-Lambo process is the low injection pressure that doesn’t require expensive equipment.
Prepreg – The carbon fiber mats used in this method, commonly known as prepreg, are pre-injected by the supplier with a thermosetting liquid resin and must be stored at a low temperature. The mats are then laminated in molds and cured under heat and pressure in an autoclave. Prepreg components are complex to make, but have an extremely high-quality surface finish (Class-A surface quality) and are therefore the preferred option for use in visible
Braiding – These components are manufactured by using RTM technology. This carbon fiber weave technology is derived from the textile industry and used to make tubular components for special applications such as structural roof pillars and rocker panels. The woven components are made by diagonally interweaving the fiber in several layers.
The monocoque of the new V12 super sports car is constructed using these technologies applied in a series of special processes. One significant advancement Lamborghini realized is the ability to use already-assembled monocoque elements as the mold for the next step in the process. This makes for a considerable simplification of the manufacturing process compared with conventional methods.
Epoxy foam components are also used within the monocoque. They are placed in strategic points to increase the stiffness of the monocoque by working as spacers between the composite layers while also dampening noise and vibration. In addition, aluminum inserts are laminated into the front and rear surfaces to facilitate connection with the aluminum front and rear subframe
Because of the complexity of the materials and process outlined above, Lamborghini decided to produce its new monocoque completely in-house, managing one strategic step in the production process.
Quality control is an absolutely crucial factor – every single monocoque is measured to exacting tolerances of only 0.1 millimeters, facilitating the extreme precision of the overall vehicle. Quality control starts with the purchase of the carbon fiber parts. Every delivery of carbon fiber is certified and the material is checked regularly for compliance with quality standards.
Lamborghini worked together with its suppliers to develop a world-exclusive fiber and resin system for its RTM technology. Ultimately, these materials and processes constitute an important part of Lamborghini’s worldwide leading expertise in the field.
Carbon composite materials – A key technology for tomorrow’s highperformance automotive engineering These materials made from CFRP combine the lowest possible weight with excellent material characteristics – they are very light, extremely rigid and exceptionally precise.
Furthermore, CFRP materials can also be formed into highly complex components with integrated functions. This reduces the number of individual parts when compared to traditional metal construction – thus enabling further weight reduction. Lighter cars have lower fuel consumption and fewer CO2 emissions. Most significantly, however, it improves the power-to-weight ratio – the deciding factor in the overall feel and performance of a sports car. A super sports car built using CFRP accelerates faster, has superior handling and better braking.
Engine & Transmission Press Release:
A milestone in the history of Lamborghini: The new twelve-cylinder and the new ISR transmission – Innovative technologies for a unique powertrain
Automobili Lamborghini is embarking on a highly innovative chapter in the company’s history with an all-new V12 power plant and a new, unique high performing transmission – the twelve-cylinder with 6.5 liter displacement, output of 525 kW (700 hp) and maximum torque of 690 Newton meters was developed with state-of-the-art technology from a clean sheet of paper. The result is a synthesis of breathtaking performance, high-revving exhilaration, low weight and moderate gas emissions. The perfect complement is a completely new transmission concept for super sports cars: the “Lamborghini ISR” automated manual gearbox combines minimal shift times and everyday usability with low weight and dimensions to guarantee that emotional sensation from gearshifts, which customers expect from a super sports car at the very top of the premier league. The new powertrain will enter production ear ly 2011.
The legend of Lamborghini strongly relies on its extraordinary, unique V12 engines.”This new power unit is not only the crowning glory of our product range, it is also part of our enormous investment in the future of the Lamborghini brand,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “With this new V12, we are heralding a technological leap that encompasses all areas of the company and our future model lineup. With a unique package of innovations, Lamborghini will redefine the future of the super sports car. This 700 hp engine, together with an all-new concept gearbox, will be the strong heart of the Murciélago successor next year.”
Top performance, low weight
Twelve-cylinder engines are fundamental to the legendary Lamborghini brand – in the past and in the future. The very first model by Ferruccio Lamborghini, the 350 GT, first appeared on the market in 1964 with a twelve cylinder power unit that was extremely innovative for its day. Miura, Espada, Countach, Diablo and, most recently, Murciélago are just a few of the super sports car to have been built in Sant’Agata. All of them were and will be driven by V12 engines – and all have long since taken their place in history as automotive legends.
The next milestone in this glorious history now awaits – Lamborghini’s research and development engineers started with a clean sheet of paper to create an all-new high-performance power plant. The resulting package is extremely powerful and high-revving, yet compact. At 235 kilograms, it is also extremely lightweight – with every single kilo of engine weight representing around three hp of maximum output.
High-revving joy, stunning sound
Even in the world of super sports cars, 515 kW (700 hp) at 8,250 rpm sets a new benchmark. Maximum torque stands at 690 Newton meters and is available at 5,500 rpm. The extremely well-rounded torque curve, beefy pulling power in every situation, incredibly spontaneous responsiveness and, not least, the finely modulated but always highly emotional acoustics make this engine a stunning power unit of the very highest order. Not only was it developed entirely in-house by Lamborghini, it is also manufactured from start to finish at company headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Highly qualified specialists assemble the engines by hand, with every single one then tested extensively and finely calibrated on an engine test bed.
This exceptional athlete derives its power from a whole package of innovative technologies. For optimum weight, the crankcase and the four-valve cylinder heads are made from aluminum-silicon alloy. The short-stroke layout ensures exceptional high-revving performance and very low internal friction. A lengthy process of fine tuning perfected the thermal management system for the high-performance power unit, as well as the oil circulation system with dry-sump lubrication. The intake system with four individual throttle valves is highly complex – an extremely well-rounded torque curve and outstanding pulling power across the rev range the reward. The exhaust system delivers the lowest emission levels, as well as that unmistakable, spine-tingling Lamborghini sound – from a moderate rumble when cruising through the city at low revs to the howling crescendo of gears at their limits.
Innovative transmission for maximum performance
Engineers working under the sign of the bull have come up with an ingenious mate for the new twelve-cylinder engine in the shape of the Lamborghini ISR transmission. Overall, this is a drive unit that is absolutely unique in the competitive world of super sports cars. The development target was clearly formulated – to create the world’s most emotional gearshift feel.
This innovative manual gearbox combines extremely fast shift times – almost 50 percent shorter than with a dual-clutch transmission – with the benefits of manual shifting when it comes to low weight and compact dimensions, both always crucial for a super sports car. The low shift times are enabled through the transmission’s particular design, known as ISR (Independent Shifting Rod). Instead of taking place in series, as with a conventional gearbox, shifting can occur virtually in parallel. While one shifting rod is moving out of one gear, the second shifting rod can already engage the next. Moreover, the transmission weighs only 79 kilograms – a distinct benefit, even against comparable DSG transmissions, which are considerably heavier.