Automobili Lamborghini entered into collaborations with two research laboratories at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in order to rewrite the rules for supercars with its concept electric supercar: the Terzo Millennio.
Stefano Domenicali, chair and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini said that the company’s collaboration with MIT for R&D allowed it to come up with a highly progressive supercar that allows it to transform the impossibilities of today into the realities of tomorrow.
Calling the Terzo Millennio the “Third Millennium” concept, he said the vehicle offers a fresh take on emerging design and technology concepts while staying true to the brand’s reputation for visual design, outstanding performance and the emotional connection that it inspires in car lovers.
Lamborghini’s goal with the Terzo Millennio was to give an idea of the five different dimensions in which it wishes to address the supercar of the future: energy storage systems, innovative materials, propulsion system, visionary design and emotion.
The supercar brand worked with the MIT labs on the first two dimensions. It worked with Dinca Research Lab helmed by professor Mircea Dinca on energy storage systems and the Mechanosynthesis Group led by professor Anastasios John Hart on innovative materials that are better suited for an electric supercar. The collaborations are expected to lead to a radical transformation in both material science and energy storage systems technology.
When it comes to energy storage, Lamborghini is exploring the option of switching from conventional batteries to supercapacitors to power the Terzo Millennio. Lamborghini had already used low-voltage supercapacitors in the V12 Aventador and the next step is the development of a storage system with the ability to deliver high peak power and regenerate kinetic energy while being highly tolerant of aging and cycling during the life of the vehicle as well as the ability to symmetrically release and harvest electric power.
Thus, Dinca will work with Lamborghini on the challenge of developing a battery that offers the energy density of current batteries while offering the benefits of preserving the high power, symmetrical behavior and the long life cycle related to supercapacitor technology.
he development of such an energy storage system calls for new materials that can meet the demands of an electric sport vehicle.
The Mechanosynthesis Group will collaborate with Lamborghini on strengthening its leadership in the design and production of carbon fiber structures and parts and thus develop new features and functions.
Prof. John Hart’s lab will investigate new techniques for manufacturing the carbon fiber materials that are used for making the bodyshell of the Terzo Millennio. The bodyshell will serve as an accumulator for energy storage and enable the complete body of the car to be used as a storage system.
The energy storage system extends to the wheels also, with each wheel incorporating an integrated electric engine, thus utilizing the energy provided by electric motors: high torque, reversibility and the possibility of moving energy by wire.
The Terzo Millennio foreshadows the new electric car that Lamborghini is likely to manufacture in the future. Integrating the electric motors in the wheels will also give greater flexibility when it comes to the design and aerodynamics.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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