Carbon cage sheds weight, could improve safety
No separate steel cage means better chassis integration
Lamborghini calls its latest hypercar the first one on the market that meets the safety rules of the upcoming FIA Hypercar endurance racing class. The Essenza SCV12 and its full-carbon chassis has undergone complete impact testing of the carbon fibre chassis and roll cage and is ready to go for the race track.
The Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 was designed and built as a track car, though meant for hot lapping rather than wheel to wheel racing. Still, Lamborghini’s expertise in forming carbon fibre components has lead to it being the first such car to meet the FIA’s stringent safety homologation standards.
That carbon integrated cage, Lamborghini says, will increase safety across GT racing. “In addition, it features the new carbon fibre monocoque chassis without a steel roll cage, resulting from technical collaboration with the FIA, thanks to which we’ve started a process that will lead to an exponential improvement in safety for GT racing drivers in the future,” said company head of motorsport Giorgio Sanna.
Lamborghini builds the Essenza’s carbon fibre chassis in its own autoclaves at the company’s factory in Sant’Agata. It’s handled by the same division that builds the Aventador’s frame.
What does it take to FIA homologate a carbon car? More than 20 static tests, to start, showing that the monocoque can withstand forces more than 12 tons with no significant deformation. The pedals, belts, and fuel tank are all tested.
Then dynamic crashes with impacts at up to 14 m/s (per Lamborghini, though that’s only 50 km/h) without the intrusion of anything that could contact the driver or a fuel tank leak.
The SCV12 also wears an OMP FIA-certified seat on carbon mounts, lower than the roadgoing car and protected by side impact bars. The whole exercise means the track car is lighter and stronger, both big benefits for your next track day.
Lamborghini plans to start the Essenza SCV12’s dedicated track event series this month.