Self-Healing Lamborghini Terzo Millennio Concept Is A Sci-Fi Dream Of The Car World
Lamborghini Partners with MIT to Design the Lamborghini of the Future
Published November 14, 2017
The last concept to come out of the St. Agatha was the one to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the legendary Ferruccio Lamborghini. While it was a noble cause, wasn’t much more than a heavily modded . The Terzo Millennio Concept revealed only days ago is a different beast altogether.
A year ago, Lamborghini teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in order to transform itself into a leader in the fields of advanced technology in the car industry. The Terzo Millennio Concept is the first brainchild of this intellectual marriage.
The good news? It’s incredibly cool.
Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini, says, “Collaborating with MIT for our R&D department is an exceptional opportunity to do what Lamborghini has always been very good at rewriting the rules on super sports cars. Now we are presenting an exciting and progressive concept car. We are inspired by embracing what is impossible today to craft the realities of tomorrow: Lamborghini must always create the dreams of the next generation.”
Lambo Terzo Millennio Concept With New Propulsion, New Batteries, and New Chassis
Called the Third Millennium (Terzo Millennio translated from Italian), the car features an all-new monocoque chassis, four electric motors and an array of “out of the box” tech we can’t say we’ve seen on a project of this magnitude ever before.
Sure, the future is all electric; it seems that everyone is on board with that – Lamborghini Included. Collaborating with the MIT students and professors, the company came up with a special propulsion system for the Terzo.
Based around supercapacitors, which were used in place of batteries (lithium-ion, lithium-hydride or whatever), the team conceived a system which will be able to release the e-power even faster than classic batteries and with less heat loss. Also, supercapacitors should be able to recuperate energy at a more efficient pace while the car is decelerating. While the supercapacitors aren’t anything new (Mazda actually used a mild hybrid system based around them), they do have some important limitations, the most important of which is low energy density. On the other hand, supercapacitors can last longer than batteries. Lambo and MIT engineers are confident we will be seeing this tech in the near future.
Tech So Amazing You Won’t Believe It Exists
Yes, we may live to see supercapacitors in action. What we will not be seeing soon is the incredible carbon body shell on the Terzo Millennio. Lamborghini wanted to make use of the body and make it more than well,… just a body. Using nanotubes sandwiched between two carbon fiber layers, the body will be able to store electric energy. Scientists and engineers all over the world have been working on graphene nanotube battery tech. It has some promising prospects in theory, but we still cannot make something that small on a large enough (and cheap enough) scale. Being a concept, it definitely presents some interesting possibilities. In that regard, the whole body of the Terzo Millennio Concept could act as a massive electric storage.
And not only that.
Check this insanity out – the Terzo Millennio Concept body can heal itself. You know, after you chip the front splitter hitting the curb, the body could “grow” that part like a lizard.
How on earth is that possible?
Apparently, the body was envisioned with microchannels which can (somehow) transfer heat. Lamborghini explained it like this:
“In this case a self-repairing process starts via micro-channels filled with healing chemistries, reducing to zero the risks of small cracks propagating further in the carbon fiber structure.”
In essence, heated microchannels will release chemicals to fill in the cracks. Do not expect to see this on a production car before the third millennium, if we ever even decide it’s cost-effective, at that.
The Tech is Cool but Aero is Still King
The main focus was placed on making the Lamborghini Terzo Millennio Concept as aerodynamic as possible. A new chassis was developed expressly for the task. All the insanity you see is actually based on a monocoque chassis using Lamborghini Forged Composite technology. That is why engineers did not cramp everything of value (and heft) in the middle. Four motors were positioned in wheels; by making more room in the middle, the designers could sculpt the exterior with more freedom. The Terzo Millennio Concept has four-wheel drive, all the advantages of electric propulsion (including real-time torque vectoring thanks to four different motors) and probably acceleration the likes of which this world has never seen.
While this still is a concept and something like a sci-fi car dream, people working on the car suggest it could be capable of making 3 to 4 laps around the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Also, it should recharge in minutes.
Now, that’s ambitious.