Lamborghini partnered with MIT last year to create the super car of the future. They unveiled that car – the Terzo Millennio concept – at the MIT campus on Monday. This new super car shows off a futuristic design and technologies that will one day make their way into the cars we drive.
It was developed with the assistance of MIT’s Dinca Research Lab, headed by Professor Mircea Dinca, Department of Chemistry and the Mechanosythesis Group led by Professor Anastasios John Hart, Department of Mechanical Engineering. These teams focused on two key areas – energy storage systems and innovative materials.
New energy storage systems are important because they’re key in creating a future Lamborghini that still has all the visceral appeal of the ones on the road today. Shoving a big battery underneath the driver’s seat simply won’t work. The Terzo Millennio looks to supercapacitors as a power source. Lamborghini first incorporated low voltage supercapacitors into production cars five years ago. The challenge now is to make them more versatile and capable of being a car’s sole battery source.
Professor Dinca’s team is researching possibilities for getting rid of the bulky battery under the driver and putting supercapacitors directly into the body of the car. Instead of one battery, there would be many smaller batteries located throughout the vehicle all working together.
Professor Hart’s team aims to increase the use of carbon fiber. This involves not simply adding more to the car, but investigating new manufacturing possibilities that expand the ways in which carbon fiber can be used. They’re also investigating ways to monitor a car’s whole carbon fiber structure creating a self-diagnostic system. This system will detect any damage to the carbon fiber and activate a self-healing process to prevent further damage.
Even the propulsion system is unique with an electric engine in each wheel. This will provide better overall control for the driver and open up new avenues for aerodynamic efficiency and chassis design.
Standing next to this car is a bit like standing on a movie set. It is both familiar and fantastical at the same time. The Terzo Millennio, however, is not simply an imagined movie version of our future. It’s a vision of a very real future Lamborghini plans to create.