Paranoia stalks the supercar industry at the moment, with Ferrari accused of rigging their test cars by a well-respected British journalist and
road tester (see jalopnik.com) and McLaren desperate to claim every single inch of high ground for its new MP4-12C in spite of the fact it didn’t take a stand at Geneva and instead sent teams of undercover PRs to muddy the water. Away from all clandestine skulduggery, walking on to the Lamborghini stand was like the welcoming bosom of a big happy family, with the carbon-fibre tub of the forthcoming Aventador supercar on plain display for anyone to run a slide rule over. Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini's charismatic head of research and engineering, explained that the tub for the new raging bull weighs just 200lb as a result of some very serious research, with Boeing, Washington State University and others. In the end, Reggiani took the Aventador construction in house, where his team use their own technology to build the carbon-fibre monocoque with a mix of pre-impregnated sheet and cheaper and faster resin-transfer moulding using formers similar to those used on Volkswagen's experimental XL1. There is also an innovative solution to speeding the plough here, with the use of injection moulding together with vacuum assistance to ensure uniform consistency and thickness of the tub. “It is like the egg of Columbus,” says Reggiani, “simple and effective.” In fact Lamborghini has long experience of using carbon-fibre. The 1987 Countach Evoluzione was designed and built under the direction of Horacio Pagani (yes, that one) and proved the viability of using the material for a chassis. Lamborghini’s method allows the construction of up to 3.5 tubs a day at the company's base in Santa Agata, Italy using two shifts of workers. With a spanking new 6.5-litre, naturally-aspirated V12 engine, a new gearbox and a spiffy looking bodyshell, the Aventador is one of the most eagerly awaited launches of the year. We'll keep you posted, eggs and all.