Lamborghini, MIT Debut Electric Concept Car That Is Its Own Battery

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Lamborghini and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have high hopes for what the supercar of the future might be like.

The Italian automaker unveiled its new concept, the Terzo Millennio — Italian for third millenium — on Monday at MIT’s EmTech conference. Lamborghini said the electric vehicle outlines the company’s vision for the “energy storage systems, innovative materials, propulsion system, visionary design, and emotion” that will define future generations of supercars.

The Terzo Millennio, as we suspected, incorporates the knowledge MIT has acquired on solid-state battery technology, as well as cutting-edge composite materials — though it does so in an extremely unique way.

Lamborghini’s concept, unlike typical EVs, doesn’t have a physical battery pack. Instead, the forged-carbon monocoque is used to house the car’s energy-storing supercapacitors.

What’s more, it highlights Lamborghini’s goal of developing “self-healing” chassis and bodywork. MIT and Lamborghini reportedly hope to create a system that will monitor the vehicle’s carbon-fiber structures and, if any microcracks are detected, it would fill the damaged area with reparative resin.

The regenerative system not only would prevent small cracks from growing larger, which ultimately would force owners to replace the damaged piece entirely, it also means cars can be made much lighter. Automakers currently have to build carbon fiber — or forged carbon — panels thicker than is ideal, such that they can withstand normal wear and tear, though that no longer would be necessary if components could continually repair themselves.

Lamborghini said the Terzo Millennio is all-wheel-drive, with electric motors driving each individual wheel, similar to the Rimac Concept_One, allowing for highly precise torque vectoring. And as is the case with the upcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar, the car’s design largely was dictated by aerodynamics.

The emphasis on aero was not solely limited to generating downforce, which pushes the car into the pavement at high speeds, but doing so in an efficient way. Given that drag is a huge limiting factor in EV’s range, Lamborghini used the Terzo Millennio to highlight that manufacturers will have to design cars to achieve their desired aerodynamic balance, without the use of large fixed rear wings.

Thumbnail photo via Lamborghini

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