Lamborghini joins forces with MIT to develop concept electric supercar with self-healing carbon fiber structure

Automobili Lamborghini is collaborating with two laboratories of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in what are the first steps of a possible future Lamborghini electric super sports car.

Lamborghini aims 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. To this end, the automaker is cooperating with Professor Anastasios John Hart, head of the Mechanosynthesis Group at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of MIT, will investigate 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. Hart says, “We are thrilled to combine our expertise in advanced materials and manufacturing with the vision and support of Automobili Lamborghini, and to realize new concepts that will shape the future of transportation.”

The Terzo Millennio supercar will feature a self-healing composite structure that can also store energy.

The project also aims 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.

Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini, says: “Exactly one year ago we have signed an agreement with the MIT-Italy Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which marked the start of a collaboration between two outstanding entities for the creation of a project that intends to write an important page in the future of super sports cars for the third millennium.

The second laboratory involved is the Dinca Research Lab, led by Professor Mircea Dinca, Department of Chemistry will focus on the electric powertrain. Here, Lamborghini plans to move away from conventional batteries and investigate the potential of supercapacitors to power the Terzo Millennio. Prof. Dinca says: "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".

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