Lamborghini is serious about making cars faster by means other than adding horsepower. After recently opening its Advanced Composite Research Center (ACRC) at its headquarters in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy, Lamborghini engineers began work not only on new cars, but also developing lighter versions of current offerings. The first to get their attention was the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante.
Creating a car that can accelerate from zero to 100 mph before the owner can mutter its entire name (admittedly, a lengthy one) is no easy task. The already high-tech Gallardo Spyder was lightened by 143 pounds with the use of lightweight carbon-fiber components in the body and the interior. The convertible top lid, engine compartment cover, spoiler, side sills, rear diffuser, and even some underbody components were all molded from the black wonder material. On the inside, the tunnel cover, door panels, and seat shells were also remanufactured. The carbon fiber accounts for roughly 40 percent of the weight savings in the car, with the use of lighter mechanical components accounting for the rest. The majority of the body shell is still crafted from aluminum. Total weight tips the scales at a manufacturer-claimed 3274 pounds.
Despite the concentration on weight savings, Lamborghini was not willing to sacrifice the luxuries its loyal customers have come to expect. The Performante still includes power windows, navigation, air conditioning, a back-up camera, and even an alarm system. Efficiency has its limits.