Lamborghini shifts R&D focus from more horses to fewer pounds  

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-Lamborghini is seemingly content with a number just shy of 700 raging horses. That doesn't mean that the Italian supercar manufacturer won't continue its unabated push towards ever-quicker acceleration – though top speeds higher than 211 miles per hour sound unlikely – but there's clearly more than one way to skin a cat Prancing Horse.

Why not just build a bigger engine? Simple, as company CEO Stephan Winkelmann correctly observes, "It has come to the point where acceleration equals consumption. More consumption means increased CO2 emissions." Apparently, the answer to the power conundrum will be less weight. "We will use composite materials in the right place, when it also has the right cost, stiffness and mechanical characteristics," explains R&D chief Maurizio Reggiani.

Lamborghini has made progress with its re-engineered Murcielago LP670-4 SV. The new version of the car has added 30 hp while shedding 220 pounds, mostly through use of carbon fiber. The "670" in the car's name reflects its horsepower rating. The car can reach 62 mph in 3.2 seconds.

Expect aluminum to be used in place of heavier steel, along with improved aerodynamics and stop/start technology to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. We've also heard repeated rumblings of full hybrid powertrains, though those seem more likely to come at the tail end of the decade. Whatever the case, it should be interesting to see how all the world's supercar manufacturers – Lamborghini included – grapple with the push to be green while also upholding their performance traditions.
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