Lamborghini and MIT unveil a futuristic new supercar concept called the ‘Terzo Millennio’

Lamborghini's future could have Massachusetts roots, thanks to a collaboration between MIT and the iconic Italian automaker.

Lamborghini Terzo Millennio
The Lamborghini Terzo Millennio concept car. –Lamborghini

The Terzo Millennio concept supercar incorporates futuristic design elements and new technologies while staying true to Lamborghini‘s aggressive, performance-driven look, and it could very well be the Italian automaker’s future.

The newly unveiled concept car was created through the first year of a three-year collaboration between Lamborghini and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Exactly one year ago, we [signed] an agreement with the MIT-Italy Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — which marked the start of a collaboration between two outstanding entities — for the creation of a project that intends to write an important page in the future of super sports cars for the third millennium,” said Stefano Domenicali, chairman and chief executive officer of Automobili Lamborghini.

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MIT’s Dinca Research Lab, headed by chemistry professor Mircea Dinca, and MIT’s Mechanosynthesis Group, led by mechanical engineering professor Anastasios John Hart, worked with Lamborghini to create the Terzo Millennio. Dinca’s and Hart’s teams focused on the development of energy storage systems and the use of innovative materials.

While the bulk of the project so far has focused on the exterior design, the Terzo Millennio also explores the potential of supercapacitors as a power source. Lamborghini already uses low-voltage supercapacitors, so this is the evolution of a technology first incorporated into production cars five years ago. Now, the challenge is to develop a system that delivers high peak power and regenerates kinetic energy without compromising performance.

Dinca’s team is researching possibilities for overcoming the limitations of today’s technologies. Working with Lamborghini allows the team an opportunity to get creative by designing new materials that will better address the challenges of battery storage for high-performance electric vehicles. Rather than a bulky battery located beneath the driver, the Terzo Millennio will feature supercapacitors within the body of the car itself.

“My lab likes to make materials, we like to think outside the box,” Dinca said. “What better company to think outside the box with than Lamborghini?”
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Hart’s team is incorporating innovative materials into the Terzo Millennio. The team is aiming to increase the use of carbon fiber and incorporate technology to monitor the entire carbon-fiber structure of the car. The system will be able to detect cracks or any accidental damage and initiate a “self-healing process.” This will repair existing damage and prevent any further damage to the carbon fiber structure of the car, particularly with parts that tend to suffer high levels of fatigue.

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Other intriguing details include a unique propulsion system, which will feature an electric engine in each wheel rather than within the body of the car.

As is the case with concept cars, the specifics on when or how Lamborghini may incorporate these technologies and designs remain unclear, but one thing is for certain: With the Lamborghini-MIT partnership lasting two more years, more innovations are sure to come.