The automotive space is going through a tumble-dry phase of changes and technological evolutions. Hybrids, electric-only and autonomous seem to be the only chants for change. The last one taking away all possible human participation behind the wheel of a car. Governments announcing timelines on banning the internal combustion engines, the focus shifting from the fun of driving to what all a person can do while the car drives itself to your destination. When designs seem to be getting similar in their vision of the future, the car fans of the world turn to the Italians for hope and that’s what Lamborghini has offered.
The Terzo Millenio, as its name translates, is a vision for what would be a hypercar whose posters would adorn the rooms of boys as they head into the third millennium. A car that rewrites the rules on what we currently understand a sports car to be about. The project started about a year ago when Lambo teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT as it is more famously known. Why MIT? Because the aim was to work on futuristic technology in terms of energy storage systems and innovative materials. The blokes at MIT are looking at supercapacitors as they move away from conventional batteries and their limitations in terms of energy density. Simultaneously, the supercapacitors need to deliver high peak power and regen kinetic energy with minimal effects on the ageing and durability of the system.
Things get freaky cool when it comes to the innovative materials. Part of it is finding alternative routes for manufacturing carbon fibre which constitutes the shell of the Millenio and most of the other parts too. The freaky cool part is combining technology to continuously monitor the whole carbon fibre structure, both visible and invisible and also “self-heal”. Yeah, self-heal. Their target is to equip the Terzo Millenio with the ability to monitor itself, detect cracks and damages and then start a self-repairing process via micro-channels filled with healing chemistries, thereby eliminating the risks of the damage spreading to the rest of the structure. It is basically the Wolverine of cars.
The propulsion aspect is more Lamborghini centric with the Terzo Millenio. An electric engine is integrated to each wheel to maximise the potential of electric motors: loads of torque, energy by wire and four-wheel drive. That would make this one of the first, albeit conceptual, all-electric Lamborghini, and a hypercar at that. Moving all the electric motors into the wheels also created more opportunities for the designers.
A vision conceived and brought into form by the Lamborghini Centro Stilo, anticipating elements of future Lambo design while incorporating classic touches. It seems to have recognisable bits from some of the previous Lambos like the Elemento, the Veneno and the more recent Centenario. The Millenio’s design focuses on aerodynamic supremacy and perfecting airflow. Those wheels are truly far out with their bulging design, wide for more grip but reduced agility at non-racing speeds. It’s two-seater virtual cockpit will also feature a Piloted Driving Simulation system which allows the driver to be taken around a track, such as Imola, by a virtual expert before the driver takes over himself and experience the real car and circuit while following the virtual ghost car, just like all those racing sims. So…self-racing and self-driving hypercar that sets a lap time for you to learn from and go quicker. Woah!!
It’s a visionary concept incorporating mad design and future-forward technology, but Lamborghini has made the future a bit less scary for car enthusiasts everywhere. I hope other supercar makers, existing or forthcoming, take inspiration.
You can take a closer look at the Lamborghini’s future electric hypercar concept, the Terzo Millenio in the gallery below:
Images by manufacturer