The Terzo Millennio is Lamborghini’s vision of the electric supercar of the future and was developed in partnership with MIT.
Terzo Millennio is Italian for third millennium but let’s hope that we won’t have to wait another 983 years for this particular car to become a production model. However, one or two innovations the car boasts ― or at least aims to boast ― could be a generation away from becoming a reality.
We’ve already seen what a purely electric supercar is capable of achieving ― the NextEV Nio EP9 is currently the fastest car of any description to lap the Nurburgring ― but what Lamborghini has in mind for its first car to jettison a 12-cylinder engine block takes things to a whole new level.
Batteries are heavy and weight is the enemy of performance, and Lamborghini wants to create composite structural materials that double as energy storage, so that the driver is essentially sitting inside the battery. Work is already underway on this with MIT but a breakthrough in nanotechnology will be needed for it to come to fruition sooner rather than later.
The external panels of this phenomenal looking concept that aren’t doubling up as batteries are made from a special composite carbon fiber that Lamborghini claims is self-healing. It won’t magically reform itself after a head-on collision but dents and scratches will disappear thanks to a clever coating. This isn’t science fiction and we’ve already seen a similar technology being employed by LG on its smartphones as far back as 2013.
Lamborghinis are all-wheel drive to cope with the immense power on tap and this one is no exception. However, because each wheel has its own integrated electric motor, there’s no transmission tunnel or other physical parts making physical connections within the car’s frame. This has enabled the company to make the car shorter, lower and crucially, has given it carte blanche in terms of aerodynamics. And because each wheel has an independent motor, its ability to find grip or to stop spins and skids is greater than that of any current-generation mechanical all-wheel drive system.
The company also wants to take full advantage of opportunities to capture and reuse potentially lost energy ― whether via regenerative braking or heat exchange ― to provide huge boosts in power and performance when needed while keeping the batteries fully charged for longer so that range becomes closer to, or even exceeds that of a traditional gasoline-gulping Aventador. However, this too is where the technology is not quite up to speed. Energy capture and redistribution is usually achieved with a supercapacitor, which then pushes the energy to the battery. Lamborghini’s goal is to develop a supercapacitor that can offer the same levels of power density as a battery and is working in partnership with MIT’s Dinca Research Lab on this solution.