Automobili Lamborghini is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a possible future Lamborghini electric super sports car. The concept uses supercapacitors for greater energy storage, kinetic energy, stores energy in the carbon body, fixes its own dents and still excites emotions.
Lamborghini’s new design concept is called “Lamborghini of the Terzo Millennio”. The concept physically imagines design and technology theories of tomorrow, while keeping the visual intrigue, performance and the high emotions found in all aspects of Lamborghini. It is designed for future super sports car enthusiasts.
The technological goal of the project is to enable Lamborghini to address the future of the super sports car in five different dimensions: energy storage systems, innovative materials, propulsion system, visionary design, and emotion.
Energy & Material Supercapacitors, Kinetic Energy
The first two dimensions were imagined together with the two laboratories at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: the “Dinca Research Lab”, led by Prof. Mircea Dinca, Department of Chemistry and the “Mechanosynthesis Group”, led by Prof. Anastasios John Hart, Department of Mechanical Engineering. The partnership is backed by Automobili Lamborghini for the purpose of innovation in energy storage systems technology and material science.
The strategy of creating super sports cars with uncompromising performance generates Lamborghini’s motivation to revolutionize the approach to energy storage, moving away from conventional batteries and investigating the potential of supercapacitors to equip the Terzo Millennio.
This is in line with the application of low voltage supercapacitors in the V12 Aventador, which started five years ago.
The next logical step is the development of a storage system able to deliver high peak power and regenerate kinetic energy and harvest electric power. Prof. Mircea Dinca goal is to overcome the limits of today’s technology and close the gap on conventional batteries’ energy density while preserving the high power, symmetrical behavior and the very long lifecycle related to supercapacitor technology.
Prof. Dinca said: “The new Lamborghini collaboration allows us 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. We look forward to teaming up with their engineers and work on this exciting project”.
Innovative Materials: Carbon Fiber Stores Energy & Self-Heals
To support this revolution in energy storage systems, materials and their functions have to change, too. Lamborghini hopes to further develop its leadership in the design and production of carbon fiber structures and parts, enhancing its ability to develop features and functions that take lightweight materials to the next level.
Prof. John Hart will investigate the new manufacturing routes for carbon fiber materials constituting the bodyshell of the Terzo Millennio, which will also act as an accumulator for energy storage and enable the complete body of the car to be used as a storage system.
The project also plans to combine the technology to continuously monitor the whole carbon fiber structure, both visible and invisible, with the concept of “self-healing”: the target is to provide the Terzo Millennio with the ability to conduct its own health monitoring to detect cracks and damages in its substructure derived from accidents. In this case a self-repairing process starts via micro-channels filled with healing chemistries, reducing to zero the risks of small cracks propagating further in the carbon fiber structure. This allows further weight reduction with increased use of carbon fiber or the application of CFK to high-fatigue parts.
Propulsion System Engine in the Wheells
The energy storage system goes hand-in hand with performance: each wheel incorporates an integrated electric engine, perpetuating the commitment to four-wheel drive and in the meantime harvesting the opportunities provided by electric motors: high torque, reversibility, and the possibility of moving energy by wire. Moving the electric motors into the wheels has another positive effect: freedom for designers and aerodynamicists. This is a starting point to create more electric cars for the company.
The Terzo Millenio expresses future design elements, encorporating radical changes in technology and anticipating elements of forthcoming Lamborghini design. An example for a very strong statement is the evolution and further development of the Lamborghini typical Y-signature in the front and rear lights.
Fundamental to a Lamborghini hypercar of the future is sustaining the emotion of driving a Lamborghini, and an immersive driver experience. The responsiveness of the electric motors, the four-wheel torque control and the dynamic body control system will enhance the driver’s experience, projecting it into the third millennium. Finally, the consequent aerodynamics and innovative lightweight approach will result in a new dimension of longitudinal as well as lateral dynamics, in this combination until today unknown from electrified cars.
The Terzo Millenio’s virtual cockpit allows more than travelling the highways of a future world: its Piloted Driving simulation allows the driver to be taken around a track such as Imola by a virtual expert before the driver takes over to feel like a ‘pilot’ himself, experiencing the real car and circuit while following the virtual ghost car.