MIT and Lamborghini to develop self-healing electric hypercar
Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States are to collaborate with Italian luxury sports car maker Lamborghini in designing an electric self-healing hypercar for the future.
The hypercar – dubbed the “Terzo Millenio” – will be an electric luxury super sports car for the “third millennium.”
One aim of the project is to explore how to use the body of the hypercar as a battery system.
Its design will use tomorrow’s materials and technology while retaining the pleasing aesthetics and high-powered performance that makes Lamborghinis thrilling to drive.
Last year, Automobili Lamborghini and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) began a 3-year partnership that will give the luxury car maker exclusive rights to some new research that is emerging on battery storage and materials.
Lamborghini – which is owned by the German Volkswagen Group through its Audi subsidiary – want to “rewrite the rules on super sports cars.”
Hypercar body as battery system
They say that the technological goal of the new hypercar is to addresses five areas: “energy storage systems, innovative materials, propulsion system, visionary design, and emotion.”
The key players at MIT are Mircea Dinca, a professor in the Department of Chemistry who heads the “Dinca Research Lab,” and Anastasios John Hart, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who heads the “Mechanosynthesis Group.”
Prof. Dinca says that they are looking forward to working with Lamborghini’s engineers and that the collabaration offers an opportunity to be “ambitious and think outside the box in designing new materials that answer energy storage challenges for the demands of an electric sport vehicle.”
Lamborghini want the two groups to investigate how new carbon fibre and composite materials might enable the whole body of the hypercar to act as a battery system. The intention is to move away from conventional batteries and explore the potential of supercapacitors.
The car maker says another ambitious aim of the project is the concept of a “self-healing” hypercar.
The idea is that the Terzo Millennio will carry out its own health monitoring to detect cracks in its carbon fibre structure – both externally and internally – such as might arise from accidents or crashes.
The monitoring system can then invoke a self-repair process that uses microchannels “filled with healing chemistries” that seal up the cracks and stop them spreading. Such technology will allow the hypercar to be lighter.
“We are inspired by embracing what is impossible today to craft the realities of tomorrow,” says Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini, adding that: “Lamborghini must always create the dreams of the next generation.”