We visit Lamborghini plant at Sant’ Agata Bolognese village and follow the production line of the brand new Huracan. Let’s see how is the newest “baby” Lamborghini manufactured…
by Akis Temperidis
Follow Akis at (twitter.com/theworldoffroad)
Sant’ Agata would be an ordinary village at the Po river valley if it was not the birthplace of Lamborghini supercars. The factory was built here by Ferruccio in 1963 – an inspired entrepreneur who was constructing tractors – transformed a purely agricultural region to a destination of pilgrimage for petrolheads from around the world.
Right on the entrance of the village there is an informative sign “Sant’ Agata – Citta’ di Lamborghini”, that prepares for what is about to come after 500 metres. The factory address is on No 12 of Via Modena, the national road that connects Bologna and Modena. As long as you arrive there you simply can’t overlook the factory on the roadside. On the opposite side of the road there is Bull Bar, the only Lambo bar with a rental service in Italy. You can sip your espresso here and then decide whether you like to have a 10 minute ride in the Gallardo or the Aventador parked outside.
The new glass building was built after Lamborghini became an Audi subsidiary. It hosts the HQ and the museum, one of the first in the world you can visit virtually thanks to Google Maps Street View. On the right hand there is the refurbished factory and on the back the carbon fibre manufacturing unit, where the supernatural fabric is processed for the chassis construction of Aventador and Huracan models.
Sara Bertusi, a young Italian who works for the Press Office, welcomes me at the reception, where every day you can find Lambo aficionados on a tour from all over the world. She takes me for a first visit around the museum – where I can see and touch two dreams from my childhood, Miura and Countach – and then takes me back to the production line. When I ask her whether we will visit the carbon fibre unit, she tell me that it isn’t organized for the moment but Sara promises that we can visit the facility in the near future.
Inside the factory the environment is very clean, well lit and extremely organised. Noise is reduced so that you can actually hear the guys with the black t-shirts talking to each other. There are two separate production lines: one for the Huracan with 23 stations and one for the Aventador with 11 stations.
The manufacturing process for each model is different. Aventador chassis and body is made by carbon fibre and aluminium is used only for the engine support frame and the frontal passive safety zones. Huracan chassis is a hybrid construction where CFRP (Carbon Fibre Resin Polymer) is used only as a backbone for the aluminium chassis and body. Aventador chassis is completely constructed in house – that for the Huracan is coming from a “carozziere”, an exterior chassis builder.
Huracan V10 engine is built by Audi and arrives complete to Sant’ Agata – a technical fact that would be advertised by any other manufacturer in the world but not by Lamborghini. We can understand that in Sant’ Agata people don’t digest well the “made in Germany” idea for their cars. The V12 state of the art Aventador engine is assembled inside the Italian factory though. It is a ritual of craftsmanship followed by highly specialised employees.
Generally speaking the Huracan line is more automated. It was inaugurated in November 2013 and today it produces 8 cars a day. The line capability is for 11 cars per day. On each station, the body of the car stays for 60-67 minutes. According to the orders from international markets, this interval can be minimized accordingly. Three 8 hour shifts (three working days in other words) pass from the moment a Huracan body enters the line to the moment it gets our as a complete car from station 23
Let’s go step by step through the production line of the brand new Lamborghini Huracan:
Station 1: The body is already painted by external supplier. It gets posed on an automatic, hydraulic base to “travel” on it all the way till the end of the line. Plastic covers arefitted on the painted body for avoiding any damage during the process.
Station 2: Various mechanical parts are assembled.
Station 3: The body is fitted in a rotating yellow frame for the brake pedal and a/c circuit assembly.
Station 4: Steering wheel and the two fuel tanks are assembled.
Station 5: Front LED lights assembly
Station6: Battery is fitted and the cabin is getting prepared for further assembly.
Station 7: The dashboard is assembled with different cable connections behind it.
Station 8: The glue for the windshield is applied by a robotised arm.
Station 9: Engine oil radiator is fitted.
Station 10: This is probably the most spectacular station of all. It is time for the engine – transmission to be fitted in the body. The process is handmade and needs extreme precision by the operator for not provoking any damage to the car body.
Station 11: Body side panels are assembled.
Station 12: Front differential and main transmission axle assembly.
Station 13: Suspension and brakes assembly.
Station 14: Exhaust assembly.
Station 15: An automatic refill system for engine and transmission lubricants, brake and steering funds, is assembled.
Station 16: bumpers and rear lights are assembled.
Station 17: on this station takes place the first quality control check on the surface of the car. Technical quality checks start from the second station in the assembly line.
Station 18: Wheels and tyres are assembled.
Station 19: Engine cover and air filters (for engine and a/c) are assembled.
Station 20: Front bonnet and seats are assembled.
Station 21: doors are assembled. The doors are predetermined for every single body from the beginning of the process.
Station 22: Full electronic check. The V10 engine starts for the very first time.
Station 23: Final quality control and exit from the assembly line. The new Huracan will go for a short ride before being ready for delivery.
If you visit Italy you can arrange a visit to the Lamborghini museum and factory. The tour costs 40 euros per person. For more information follow the url below
Image Gallery: Making of Lamborghini Huracan