The monocoque shell of a Lamborghini Aventador
The name is French for “single shell.”
This is a type of vehicle where the main load-bearing structure is an enclosed shell, rather than behind (1) body-on-frame, or (2) unibody.
A unibody vehicle has panels which are fastened together to provide structure. However, a true monocoque is characterized a single assembly where the skin surface of the container itself absorbs forces.
This is also common in aircraft and boat construction.
Why I Looked It Up
I heard it in a MotorWeek retro review of the Ferrari F50. I had heard the term for years, and generally associated it with high-end sports cars. I knew it had something to do with the type of construction, but wasn’t sure of specifics.