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Lamborghini reveals its electric vision

Electrifying: Lamborghini’s Terzo Millennio concept employs cutting edge technologies being developed by Boston’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Futuristic electric Terzo Millennio concept points to next-gen Lamborghini supercar

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Lamborghini logo7 Nov 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

LAMBORGHINI has teamed with scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston to create a revolutionary all-electric hypercar concept with a carbon-fibre body that doubles as a battery and which apparently can heal its own panel damage.

Called Terzo Millennio – Italian for third millennium – the two-seat, light-weight racer for the road is the Italian company’s vision for its all-electric future, with Automobili Lamborghini chairman and CEO Stefano Domenicali describing it as “an important page in the future of the super sportscar for the third millenniu.”

The three-year collaboration – started last year – aims to bring together the best of Lamborghini design and engineering with futuristic technologies and materials fresh from the labs of MIT, one of the world’s cutting-edge universities.

The jaw-dropping design features a minimalist body with large gaps to funnel air through the car, rather than around it, for minimal drag and maximum downforce.

Details on the various technologies are scant, with most devices described with the barest detail. For example, the “self-healing body” was described as an “aim”, rather than an existing technology included in the car.

The system apparently would be able to detect cracks or accidental damage and trigger a self-repair process to prevent further damage, particularly in sections of the body that suffer high stress. How it would do this, Lamborghini and MIT were not immediately saying.

No power or performance figures were proffered, but Lamborghini suggests the concept will offer high peak power via four in-wheel electric motors.

Instead of a conventional battery, power is delivered by advanced supercapacitors that draw current from tiny batteries in carbon-fibre nanotubes sandwiched in the carbon fibre body, developed by the MIT’s mechanical engineering and chemistry departments.

Lamborghini says the micro batteries can be bent and shaped within the body panels, using the carbon-fibre layers as insulation from electric shock.

The system means the Terzo Millennio can dispense with a bulky and heavy battery within the floor structure, instead employing lighter supercapacitors topped up by energy stored around the vehicle.

Lamborghini is one of the few car-makers to already employ supercapacitors, in low-voltage form to power the starter motor in its Aventador. However, the Terzo Millennio application takes the technology to a whole new level, powering the whole car while recouping kinetic energy without compromising performance.

Lamborghini engineers worked with MIT teams headed by chemistry professor Mircea Dinca and mechanical engineering professor Anastasios John Hart to develop the systems.

Said Prof Dinca: “My lab likes to make materials, we like to think outside the box. What better company to think outside the box with than Lamborghini.”

With two more years of the collaboration to go, the concept and technologies within it is expected to be developed and refined.

Lamborghini did not say if it planned to build a specific model based on the Terzo Millennio, but the future at the Italian company does appear to be electric.

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