Lamborghini Trezo: The Self-Healing Supercar

Lamborghini Trezo Millennio, which translates into “Lamborghini of the third millennium,” is a futuristic and unique electric super sports car. It was developed with four main factors in mind:

  1. Energy
  2. Material innovations
  3. Powertrain and vehicle architecture
  4. Sound and emotion

Lamborghini Trezo has sensors designed to find cracks and chips, and once found, automatically starts to repair itself. This means the carbon fiber nanotubes that build the structure of this hypercar are self-healing. I can only imagine what body shop owners are thinking right now. This could definitely put them out of business at some point in the future. Of course, not in the near future, since this is part of a concept car and it takes years, if not decades to be available and cost-effective for more car manufacturers. Still, it’s exciting to see new technologies like this emerge. Many of today’s cars started as a concept, supercar, or Formula One car. Lamborghini is rewriting the rules on super sports cars, which is why they’ve started working with MIT on research and development.

Trezo is a concept car like no other. Lamborghini turns dreams to reality and they’re quite accomplished at it. After they started their collaboration with MIT professors and students, Lamborghini announced the new Trezo at the EmTech conference in Boston. Using supercapacitors to simultaneously capture and release energy is the current project for MIT professors and students. They’re still using carbon fiber to build a visible and invisible structure. What’s most unique here is they’re developing a self-health monitoring concept where the car would assess damage in its entire structure in the event of an accident. MIT is expected to continue work on minimizing the risk of carbon fiber cracks for the next three years.

Every car manufacturer wants to reduce weight as much as possible. The less mass you have to move, the less mass you have to stop, which means a faster 0-60 and a shorter stopping distance. A lot of manufacturers use carbon fiber to save on weight because while very strong, it’s super light and looks great. Lamborghini, however, is taking it to the next level and using nanomaterial technology where they diffuse nano charges to form the structure and the shape of the car, and store energy.

This supercar is even more unique. Unlike most electric cars, which are powered by traditional batteries, the Trezo uses supercapacitors. These supercapacitors can hold 10 to 100 times more power, allowing for fewer stops to charge this beast. This technology is currently being used for smaller car components but a larger version would mean a lot to the electric car world. It may not be ready yet, but they’re definitely working on it. Instead of having an engine, the car has motors on each wheel which generate power individually. Imagine how much power is lost from the time it’s generated at the engine, also known as power at the crank, versus the power present at the wheel, which is wheel horsepower. Having engines at the wheels almost eliminates power loss. The amount of torque is distributed between all four wheels providing maximum traction. And the coolest part? The tires glow orange when the car is in motion, adding to the already hyper reality of this hypercar.

Traditional batteries may be good on some cars but they’re not good enough for the Trezo Millennio. This is why Lamborghini engineers are working hard to develop a new battery technology with proper power density, energy density and the ability to better preserve power. Autonomous driving is a big deal and definitely an option some manufacturers are offering these days. The Trezzo Millennio is not an exception, but the autonomous capabilities are limited to racetrack driving. Trezzo can run a full lap with no mistakes. One can only imagine the number of calculations it does every millisecond to hit the apex at the right angle every single time. But you don’t buy a Lamborghini and expect the computer to do all the driving for you. You buy a supercar to drive it yourself and enjoy every second.

Several electric machines need to work together to supply power. Lamborghini is trying to generate torque directly from the wheels and free up the body space for better aerodynamic shapes. Seeing electrical components in a wheel may be odd, but this is a very unique car and with its own unique characteristics. The challenge is to increase the power density of what these four wheels can generate to delivery maximum energy.

AWD on any supercar is a must when you’re dealing with so much power. Car manufacturers are switching to AWD or at least an optional or part-time AWD to improve their lack of traction. You can make a car with all the power in the world, but if the engine is in the front and it’s not an all-wheel drive, you’d have a huge power delivery problem. Most cars aren’t able to put over 500 horsepower on the ground with stock tires and wheels. What you get is usually a lot of spinning, and a tail-happy ride. Manufactures are now providing an optional all-wheel drive which lets the driver deliver the power to all four wheels for better traction, specifically during initial take off. You’d still be able to switch back to rear wheel drive on those fun track days.

Lamborghini is famous for making not only one of the best looking, but the best sounding supercars in the world. I remember watching a documentary where they hired sound engineers whose main job was to make sure the exhaust noise was at their standard rate and to control how much of that sound should be coming into the cabin. They were also responsible for making sure the music a driver may be listening to is well balanced and, I guess, loud enough to be heard. I highly doubt anyone with a Lamborghini would care too much about music quality since they would have a V12 booming in their ears, but it’s always good to make sure those who love their music can enjoy both engine noise as well as their favorite tunes.

A high revving V12 tells your entire neighborhood what you drive every time you start it up. One of the biggest challenges for this Italian manufacturer is to make an electric car sound like a V12. “The adoption of an electric powertrain requires to define a sound able to substitute the one of today’s V12,” Lamborghini said.

SOURCES:

https://www.topgear.com/car-news/big-reads/lamborghini-terzo-millennio-y3ks-supercar

https://www.lamborghini.com/en-en/brand/innovation-excellence/terzo-millennio

https://www.theverge.com/transportation/2017/11/6/16613998/lamborghini-terzo-millennio-electric-concept-car-photos

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-07/lamborghini-terzo-millennio-concept-self-healing-electric-supercar

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