Take a glimpse into the wild and strangely futuristic partnership between MIT and Lamborghini. Meet the result: the Terzo Millennio.
Bring together the automotive passion and style of Lamborghini with the ingenious minds at MIT and the result is the Lamborghini Terzo Millennio. Lamborghini often creates insane concepts, but this one also has imaginative ideas under its skin. The partnership aims to dream up a supercar that embodies the technology we may see a decade or so in the future. Hence, the focus on five distinct categories: propulsion, energy storage, innovative materials, visionary design, and emotion.
An electric powertrain was chosen because it is simply the future of how cars will evolve. Plus, the instant-on nature of delivering torque to each individual wheel presents a huge performance potential. The challenge then became developing the technology that moves energy by wire and produces enough power to match Lamborghini’s penchant for diabolical speed.
Building the motors into the wheels also allows freedom for the designers to incorporate their ideas for building the body and cabin interior without the restrictions of a traditional powertrain.
“It’s, really, a box that we want to put all that’s necessary” for Lamborghini to eventually compete in a world full of smart electric vehicles” Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini Director of R&D
The revolutionary concepts under the Terzo Millennio’s skin
MIT engineering professor Anastasios John Hart leads the material science side of the partnership. Hart and Lamborghini are developing a new carbon fiber shell for the Terzo Millennio that can store electrical energy. These body panels will use electricity-storing carbon nanotubes sandwiched between two laminates of carbon fiber.
“To support this revolution in energy storage systems, materials and their functions have to change, too,” Lamborghini said. “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.”
Some of the ideas they are pursuing are figuring out how to use supercapacitors that simultaneously capture and release energy, and researching ways to build the car’s body and components with carbon fiber nanotubes that can act as lithium-ion batteries that commonly used to power today’s electric cars. And can this carbon fiber nanotube structure be self-healing in nature?
The profile, front, and rear of the Terzo Millennio are distinctly Lamborghini. Elements of the Aventador permeate the design, but everything’s turned up a notch or ten. Every jagged angle and line carries more emphasis. The wheels are completely unique and take the car to a whole new level of awesome lunacy.
Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini, heralds this car as a glimpse into the future:
“Now we are presenting an exciting and progressive concept car. We are inspired by embracing what is impossible today to craft the realities of tomorrow. Lamborghini must always create the dreams of the next generation.”
Time frame of the partnership
The MIT/Lamborghini partnership will last three years. The first year is all about selecting the materials that will be used. Year 2 involves getting the structure to store and release energy. Finally, Lamborghini and MIT will devote the third year to turning all that technology into a three-dimensional reality. Reportedly, Lamborghini is paying MIT €200,000 a year for its assistance with the project.
Pushing the beyond the norm is what makes a supercar spectacular. Few companies can do that better than Lamborghini. To demonstrate that point, see this 910 horsepower Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 Concept Plug-in Hybrid: