Lamborghini introduces pushrod suspension to series production
By Mike Hanlon
January 24, 2011
One of the highlights of the upcoming Geneva Motor Show will be the unveiling of Lamborghini’s Murciélago successor – a V12 range-topper bristling with the technological candy demanded by the marque’s aficionados. Earlier today, Lamborghini released further details of the new vehicle and true to form, some of the componentry is very special: the electrically powered parking brake; the 400mm carbon ceramic discs with six cylinder calipers ; and the separation of wheel control and damper via an aluminum double wishbone pushrod suspension. The F1-inspired suspension offers race-car precision yet long distance comfort and further strengthens the bleeding-edge brand values of the Volkswagen-owned super sports manufacturer.
The new 515 kW / 700 hp lightweight Lamborghini V12 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 is tuned to offer a razor-sharp, driving feel. 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” according to Lamborghini.
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.
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.
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.
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 sometimes be a little too demanding.
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