What happens at the Paris Motor Show is usually not newsworthy in the golf industry, but when Lamborghini introduced a material called Forged Composite recently, Callaway Golf president and chief executive officer George Fellows was on hand for the announcement.
Citing its history of innovation from titanium to Fusion technology, Callaway saw similarities between its own objectives and those of the renowned automobile maker in terms of power-to-weight ratio and weight reduction, with carbon fibre as the key material to meeting the goals of both companies.
With that in mind, Callaway and Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A have agreed to connect the resources of their research and development teams to establish an ongoing collaboration to develop technologies and materials to enhance each company’s products.
Forged Composite is the first collaborative element of the Callaway and Lamborghini alliance and will be the main story when Callaway officially introduces its Octane driver in the next week or so.
According to both companies, Forged Composite is the lightest, strongest, most precise material they’ve ever used.
Encompassing more than 500,000 intertwined turbostratic fibres per square inch, it features a high threshold for withstanding extreme forces, a bonus for both industries.
Forged Composite is one-third the density of titanium, with a greater load carrying capacity per unit mass in bending. The implementation of a new, proprietary isothermal forging process enables engineers on both sides to incorporate Forged Composite into their designs with a new level of precision.
“Forged Composite provides us with the ability to engineer performance enhancements like never before, and we’ve only just begun to tap the potential of this material,” said Dr. Alan Hocknell, senior vice president of research and development for Callaway Golf.
“We’re looking forward to collaborating on future applications that push our designs beyond any preconceptions,” he added.
Although recently formalized, the relationship between Callaway and Lamborghini goes back several years as both sought new innovation through lighter, stronger materials.
The development of advanced composite structures particularly interested both sides. Microscopic carbon fibres offer strength and performance characteristics not found in metal alloys used in both industries.
For Lamborghini, the lighter and stronger composite materials enabled their designers to take advantage of their power-to-weight ratio and acceleration capability in their technological demonstrator “Sesto Elemento,” which was introduced in Paris.
“The introduction of the Forged Composite technology allowed Lamborghini to realize the monocoque and the suspension arms of the Sesto Elemento with groundbreaking quality and costs levels,” said Maurizio Reggiani, director of research and development for Automobili Lamborghini.
Meanwhile, employing carbon composites in place of steel and titanium offered Callaway engineers the ability to design clubheads with a greater transfer of power upon impact with the ball and more accurate trajectories.
“This partnership joins two of the world’s most respected brands,” said Fellows. “Both Callaway and Lamborghini feature rich histories of challenging convention and employing technological innovation to create breakthrough products,” he added.
Stephan Winkelmann, president and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, adds the agreement will be a benchmark for both industries.
“We see power-to-weight ratio and weight reduction as the keys for future supersportscars and carbon fibre as the material to achieve these goals,” said Winkelman.
“Callaway’s expertise in specific technologies is strategic for our research projects and therefore, we welcome this partnership as a further, important milestone in our over 30 years long history of carbon fiber applications,” he added.