Manual transmissions are no longer a part of Lamborghini’s future, per the company’s R&D director Maurizio Reggiani. At most, only 2% of the cars being produced now are equipped with manual transmissions, given the minimal number of requests for them by consumers. Lamborghini’s latest edition, the Aventador, is already only available in a fully automatic seven-speed single-clutch transmission.
Aside from lack of market, Reggiani also gives details on the mechanical reasons that support the elimination. He justifies that because people, and not machines, shift gears in a manual, it interrupts the connection between all the other systems within the car, thus not allowing the car to provide its optimal ride.
Plans are still in the works for the next Lamborghini to be released. Developments in production methods and materials will vary manufacturing time and costs. The Sesto Elemento is being crafted with parts made from forged composite, created from a heated combination of carbon fiber strands and resin.
While the composite may take longer than aluminium or stamping steel, parts can be made with it faster than the currently used carbon fiber methods. It also proves to be more durable than its counterparts. An upcoming replacement for the 8 year-old Gallardo, possibly dubbed the Cabrera, is up for production, as well. No matter which of the two ends up on the line at the Sant’Agata Bolognese factory first, one guarantee is that it will not come with a manual transmission.
Lamborghini is also further tightening up their quality, with a new system that makes body parts more accurate, called cubing. The system holds numerous body parts together at once to aid in better construction. A heavy German engineering influence via quality director Holger Weichhaus is also helping refine certain details, such as improved stitching methods, and relationships with the hundreds of Lamborghini part suppliers. Such attention to detail is time consuming, a fact that can help explain why cars scheduled for 2014 release are already beginning production. Still, the most outstanding time saving factor, no more clutches and shift knobs.
– By: Alexandra Koken
Source: Motor Trend