By Jeremy J. Zacharias
Query this: What do you get when an Italian supercar powerhouse teams up with the unlimited brain power at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)? The answer is the Terzo Millennio, the electric hypercar of tomorrow.
The Terzo Millennio, Italian for “third millennium,” was unveiled in November 2017 at the EmTech Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It represents the first project in development from the partnership between Automobili Lamborghini, S.p.A., and MIT.
According to Lamborghini’s website, the Terzo Millennio project focuses on 4 distinct pillars: (1) Energy; (2) Materials Innovations; (3) Vehicle Architecture and Powertrain; and (4) Sound and Emotion.
The Terzo Millennio, a $2.5 million concept hypercar from Lamborghini, represents a realization of Lamborghini’s use of supercapacitors in its high performance supercars, which began with using low voltage supercapacitors in the V12 Aventador. The use of supercapacitors deviates from the traditional use of conventional battery packs, such as Tesla’s energy storage system, and will allow the Terzo Millennio to deliver high peak power and regenerative kinetic energy with limited aging and cycling through the car’s lifetime. A major benefit of the use of supercapacitors is the ability to symmetrically release electric power. Other benefits of supercapacitors include their longer lifecycle, rapid charging speeds, and higher power output, which, of course, allow Lamborghini to focus on its central purpose: raw performance.
Lamborghini plans on perfecting its use of supercapacitors as an energy source by focusing on the materials used in building the Terzo Millennio. For the efficient release of fluid electric power, Lamborghini plans on utilizing new age nanomaterials and will heavily rely on the benefits of carbon fiber in its vehicle construction and ancillary parts. For Lamborghini, the lighter the Terzo Millennio, the better.
Vehicle Architecture and Powertrain
The Terzo Millennio’s architecture is almost as important as its electric powertrain. Lamborghini intends to use the vehicle’s electrical propulsion system to power the electrical components by way of cables. Lamborghini plans on exploiting the vehicle’s architecture to harness the power density inside each wheel to generate torque and increase power output to maximize the Terzo Millennio’s performance capabilities while keeping its overall mass under control.
Sound and Emotion
A major drawback for traditional electric vehicles is the lack of engine sound and inherent soul. However, Lamborghini ensures that while its signature engine roar that has been a staple of each Lamborghini since the 350 GTV might change with the age of the electric motor, it is developing a sound that will be unique to the Terzo Millennio while keeping true to its heritage. The Terzo Millennio’s emotion will be derived from its use of new-age technology, redesigned aerodynamics, architecture, and powertrain.
A partnership between a supercar company, Lamborghini, and the best engineering minds in the world at MIT can be said to be an electrifying (get it?) combination. Although the Terzo Millennio is a concept hypercar, it represents the future of the ultra-high performance EV market. With Lamborghini’s research and implementation of supercapacitors in its Terzo Millennio, the future of the EV market is not only a matter of range, but also will address the efficiency of alternate powertrains to maximize performance. With notable names such as Lamborghini going electric, will the future of the performance wars finally ditch gas and favor clean energy? Here’s hoping.