Here’s something I never thought I would see in my lifetime – an electric Lamborghini. Some might call this whole idea sacrilegious, but the Italian supercar company knows that electric and hybrid cars are the future, and they don’t intend on being left behind.
Lamborghini teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last year in order to “rewrite the rules on super sports cars,” and the Lamborghini Terzo Millennio, an electric hypercar concept with some really bold ideas under its hood, is the result of this collaboration.
The Lamborghini Terzo Millennio imagines design and technology theories of tomorrow, while sustaining the visual intrigue, breathtaking performance and visceral emotion found in every dimension of a Lamborghini.
The sports car of the future uses electricity instead of gasoline. Electric systems generate high efficiency and offer several interesting characteristics like the possibility to recover kinetic energy and to deliver huge peaks of power. In order to take the most from the opportunities offered by electrification, the accumulation system must be power-oriented and symmetrical, to allow high performances and the greatest energy recovery possible. To harvest this opportunity, today’s batteries are not enough and a big leap forward is needed: Lamborghini aim is to develop an innovative supercapacitor able to close the gap with conventional batteries in terms of energy density, preserving an outstanding power density.
Innovation in Materials
Lamborghini aims to reduce weight and to increase the availability of electric energy using structural electric energy storing composites as a rechargeable battery. The target is to improve the nanomaterial technology, diffusing nano-charges in CFK-based panels able to store electric energy and in the meantime to form the body and structures of the car. At the same time, the project aims to combine the technology to monitor continuously the whole carbon fiber structure, both visible and invisible, with the concept of health-monitoring: the goal is to provide for the Terzo Millennio the ability to conduct its own health-monitoring, to detect cracks and damages that might occur after accident, throughout its substructure, while limiting or reducing to zero the risks correlated to the presence and propagation of cracks in the carbon fiber structure.
Powertrain & Vehicle Architecture
One of the most interesting advantage of every electric powertrain is to feed with energy a system made of several electric machines, just through wires. Lamborghini aims to use this opportunity to generate torque directly into the wheels, letting the body of the vehicle free to be shaped by the needs of design and aerodynamics. The challenge to be faced here is to develop a technology suitable to increase the power density of the in–wheel electric motor to the level a 4WD super sports car deserves, keeping the weight of the unsuspended masses under control. The opportunities in terms of weight, aerodynamics and design are so huge that it worth investigating for feasibility of further development.
Sound & Emotion
The adoption of an electric power train requires to define a sound able to substitute the one of today’s V12. A deep investigation is needed with the purpose of assessing the opportunities given from the new powertrain, looking for every opportunity to generate the sound of the Terzo Millennio. The visionary design is the expression of a brand new aerodynamics and architecture. Every detail is designed to make the flow of the wind stream perfect. Lamborghini tries to approach the electrification process in an unconventional way, with a concept car which is radical in the energy management, in the body, in the architecture and in design, in line with Lamborghini culture.
While there don’t appear to be any plans to produce the Terzo Millennio, it’s an interesting look at what the future of supercars may look like. Maybe this whole electrification thing isn’t so bad after all..