On the Job: The New Lamborghini

12 Jan, 2004 By: Cadalyst Staff

Lamborghini Gallardo Arrives On Schedule With Help from ICEM Surf Software

Ferruccio Lamborghini's fascination for engines led him to study mechanical engineering in Bologna, Italy. After World War II, he began to purchase surplus military vehicles, which he converted to agricultural machines. Just three years after the end of the war, the Lamborghini Tractor Factory was designing and building its own tractors. It's hard to say what made Lamborghini turn his attention from agricultural machinery to luxury sports cars. Perhaps he was simply attracted by the success of his neighbor, Enzo Ferrari. Legend has it that the idea came to him after a discussion with Enzo Ferrari in which Lamborghini complained about the noisy gearbox in the new Ferrari.

Lamborghini's passion is still evident in the company, which is now owned by Audi.

Initiated in 2000, the Gallardo is intended to be both a high-performance sports car that matches its behavior to the driver in every situation and a car that can be driven every day. To meet these two objectives, Lamborghini engineers needed to fulfill the necessary comfort requirements without any compromise in performance.


ICEM Surf software played a key role in helping the Italian super carmaker meet design and development criteria. Lamborghini used ICEM's surface modeling, analysis, and visualization software in developing all components of the Gallardo visible to customers.

Andrea Bonfatti, Lamborghini's body development manager, says, "The use of ICEM Surf enabled us to shorten the Gallardo development timescale by reducing the number of design iterations required to arrive at the finished product. Similarly, we were also able to cut the cost of the production tooling development process."

Because the Gallardo is a completely new car, the exterior body and interior features were designed from scratch. Unlike other Lamborghini models, it's designed for mass production using standard assembly-line production techniques.

To meet the time schedule and design criteria for the new car, Lamborghini's body engineers imported point-cloud scan data of a clay model into ICEM Surf, where they created initial surface models. Using ICEM Surf's standard surface manipulation and analysis tools, engineers refined the models with a minimum of iterations to reach the final production-ready models for the entire exterior body and interior surfaces.

Lamborghini also used ICEM Surf extensively during the design review process. It created photorealistic visualizations of individual components and assembly models of the car. Any physical prototypes required during the development process were also produced using ICEM Surf data.

Bonfatti said, "ICEM Surf enables us to design and develop complex surface shapes and to manipulate and analyze them in real time so that you immediately see the results of your actions. This means that we can satisfy the stylists' requirements."

Final production tooling for a variety of manufacturing processes, including injection molding, laminated thermoplastics, and aluminum pressing, was also developed using the final ICEM Surf surface model data.

Production on the Gallardo began in 2003. Top speed is 192mph, and estimated U.S. retail price is $ 165,000 to $ 170,000.


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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