Lamborghini unveiled its outrageous Terzo Millennio concept car early November, the first project borne of a three-year collaboration with Boston’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
While the out-there styling retains a number of recognizable Lamborghini cues, it’s what drives this EV supercar that indicates how far forward the Italian manufacturer is looking, and the reason it chose to team up with MIT.
The Terzo Millennio is Lambo’s first exploration into the use of high-voltage supercapacitors to store the energy needed to drive an electric car.
A supercapacitor is like a battery in the sense it can be charged and can store electricity. But unlike conventional batteries designed to mete that electricity out in a measured fashion, a supercapacitor can deliver a huge amount of power all at once to provide, for example, the kind of juice that will enable supercar acceleration.
Lamborghini has been using low-voltage supercapacitors for about five years in its V12 Aventador, and calls the use of more energy-dense examples for electric drive “the next logical step.”
Along with the scientists at MIT, Lambo’s hope is to come up with supercapacitor tech that allows for the same kind of energy density as conventional batteries while also allowing rapid charging through regenerative braking.
Along with that new energy storage idea, Lambo is also working with MIT folks to come up with a carbon-fibre body shell for the Terzo Millennio that will acte part of the car’s energy storage system. Not only that, but the Lambo-MIT team also wants that body to be able to detect cracks caused by collisions and heal itself.
Power is delivered by electric motors integrated into the car’s wheels, which Lambo says helps it meet its commitment to all-wheel-drive while simplifying the car’s drivetrain.
Oh, and for the record, this is what Lambo and MIT came up with after just one year, so we can’t wait to see what they roll out over the next two.