The Murcielago production line at the Laborghini factory in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy, consists of 14 stations where technicians work on different parts of the car in a sequence. When they finish one car, they move it out of the factory and push the unfinished cars forward one stage. They produce cars in very low numbers--only a few a day. High-volume car-makers organize their factories into hundreds of stations where workers spend only a few minutes installing parts before the unfinished car moves to the next stage. The work at the Lamborghini factory requires hours of complex work at each stage.
The factory does not have space for a paint shop, so they ship the bodies to a specialty shop--Autocarozzeria Imperiale--for painting. The carbon-fiber body panels get a sanding treatment so paint will adhere to the surfaces. The body receives a primer coat that workers inspect for imperfections and then sand. Two painters then spray-paint the body by hand--one who paints the inside of the body panels, the other who does the outside. After painting, workers apply a clear-coat layer and perform more than 50 hours of polishing.
The Murcielago has a body shell made mostly of lightweight carbon fiber, with the exception of steel for the doors and roof. Technicians mount the painted body shell onto a tubular-steel frame. Since the car won't have rolling wheels until the last stages of assembly, it rests on a rolling jig that carries it from station to station, where workers mount parts and assemblies to the frame and body. They add engine cooling parts, pieces for the interior, brakes and other parts in successive steps.
Eight technicians assemble the major components of the 12-cylinder, 670-horsepower engine by hand. They install the crankshaft and bolt on the cylinder heads. The pistons and cylinders have very close mechanical tolerances, so the technician hand-matches them and taps them in carefully to avoid damaging the cylinder walls. Some operations, such as placing the cylinder heads on the engine block, involve heavier parts and require two people to maneuver them into place. After assembly, workers move the engine into a separate "hot room" where they test it. They slide the finished engine into the body assembly and bolt it in.
As technicians assemble the car, they test the various electrical and mechanical systems. When assembly is complete, workers perform final operational and quality checks. They move the car to a roll booth, where the engine drives the wheels for the first time to speeds up to 85 mph. After this test, professional drivers take it on public roads for a test drive.