Lamborghini's New Electric Supercar Can Heal Itself

Wednesday, 08 November 2017 - 10:04AM
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 - 10:04AM
Lamborghini's New Electric Supercar Can Heal Itself
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Image credit: Lamborghini
Electric cars might seem futuristic, but Lamborghini's new vehicle is so revolutionary it makes Teslas look prehistoric. 

The car Lamborghini just revealed, the Terzo Millennio, is from the year 3000 ('terzo millennio' means 'third millennium').

Anyone can make a super-sleek sports car with impractical ride height, but Lamborghini called in MIT to make sure this new car is absolutely stacked with futuristic special features, including the ability to 'heal' itself.

Here's a quick overview of the coolest stuff packed into the Millennio:

Supercapacitors, Not Batteries

Fossil fuels aren't the future. Neither are electric batteries (sorry, Tesla). For the Robocops and Blade Runners of the year 3000, the best bet is going to be supercapacitors, which have the advantage of being able to charge faster than traditional batteries and store more than normal capacitors. They're much more complex to create, but electric supercapacitors are going to be the energy storage method of the future. In the Millennio, supercapacitors completely replace a traditional engine or battery.

According to Lamborghini, "The collaboration with Prof. Mircea Dinca [of MIT] is aiming 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."

In fact, each individual wheel in the Millennio has an electric engine attached to it, meaning that there is no drive train. This also means they can move the front seat (cockpit?) of the car waaay forward.

Self-Healing Carbon Fiber Body

Carbon fiber is cool and incredibly hard, but it's also not metal, which means it can develop terrible, destructive cracks when exposed to impacts. This is where that 'self-healing' thing comes in:

Opening quote
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.
Closing quote

Wait, healing chemistries? Is this car futuristic or just magic? What did MIT show you, Lamborghini? 

It Looks Cool as Hell

Let's just take a look at this thing for a moment:

Apart from the glowing wheels and air channels, this thing looks like a Spinner from Blade Runner with a receiver port in the back for a Mr. Fusion.

One potential feature of the body is that it can be used for energy storage, meaning that the entire car can serve as a battery.

On the other hand, it looks like it would probably need all the self-healing it could get if it traveled down anything but a perfectly flat highway. But perhaps, where it's going, we won't need roads.
Science News
Lamborghini's New Electric Supercar Can Heal Itself