The name means “Third Millennium” in Italian, so this is something more than just a future-tech idea platform. Nonetheless, Lamborghini’s idea car holds several degrees of promise for future technology, some of which — indeed, most of which — might get here well before the year 3000.
While Porsche’s Mission E electric supercar is on the way, and while Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren all have hybrid electric supercars on the road, Lamborghini is looking beyond something as established as that.
“The technological goal of the project is to enable Lamborghini to address the future of the super sports car in five different dimensions: energy storage systems, innovative materials, propulsion system, visionary design, and emotion,” Lamborghini said in a release.
Lamborghini Terzo Millennio in action
It’s for those first two that Lambo is collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a collaboration that began one year ago. The first area of research will be energy storage, which you might think will mean batteries. But the partnership is looking at something no one has really been able to make work in an automotive setting: ultracapacitors. An ultracapacitor stores electrical energy, as does a battery, but does it electrostatically instead of electrochemically. So, just as when you rub your stocking feet on the carpet and then touch something metal, you get a zap, or sudden and total discharge. With a battery, it’s easier to manage that discharge, hence the challenge in ultracapacitors. One advantage is that they last a lot longer than batteries without losing their capacity. Use ‘em over and over again and they’re still good as new.
The Lamborghini Terzo Millennio uses hub motors in the wheels for awd
The second “dimension” of research will be to investigate new manufacturing routes for carbon-fiber car bodies that can also act as energy storage vessels. Lamborghini doesn’t go any farther into that whopper of a goal, but they have 983 years to work on it.
For propulsion, the future car will have electric motors in each wheel. So-called hub motors have been tried in the past and had the drawback of increased unsprung weight, but, again, 983 years is a long time to solve that problem.
The design of the Terzo Millennio was handled by Lamborghini’s Centro Stile “… to express future design elements, taking into account the radical changes in technology and anticipating elements of forthcoming Lamborghini design.” With the motors in the wheels, the body is freed up for aerodynamics, using up all the space — except that needed for the driver and passenger — to perfect the movement of air over the body.
Finally, the car will incorporate “emotion,” something all Lamborghinis have offered in abundance. It won’t just be fun to drive, the Terzo Millennio will be “… an immersive driver experience.” That will include, for instance, taking control of the car for the first lap or two of a new racetrack to show you the line before handing the wheel back to you.
The future looks promising and, if Lamborghini has anything to do with it, sounds downright thrilling. See you then.