The Terzo Millennio. We doubt we need to explain such title, your eighth grade Italian should get you that far.
If you’re not quite there, you’ve got until the Third Millenium to figure it out, as this monstrous creation is something you could only expect to see in a Blade Runner film rather than the next incarnation of Batman.
This otherworldly creation is Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali’s personal passion project. Upon arriving at the company, Domenicali’s mission was to make an EV hypercar worthy of the brand, something so dramatic and unbelievably capable that any stigma surrounding its classification as an electric hypercar would be instantly forgiven.
The design objective was simple. “It had to exceed 300kph (186mph) and be able to complete three hot laps of the Nordschliefe. Why three laps? Because after three laps you’d need to replace the tyres,” says Lamborghini’s chief technical officer Maurizio Reggiani.
Lamborghini has said it’s keen to move away from what Top Gear’s Charlie Turner has coined the ‘skateboard’ EV layout, i.e a battery pack extending across the base of the vehicle whereby the passengers sit above it, and the centre of gravity is incredibly low.
The tech talk is so specific that even I couldn’t paraphrase it better than Turner, who said the “Terzo team is currently exploring the potential of using nanotechnology to thread billions of tiny copper anodes and cathodes into the carbon weave, turning the whole body of the Terzo into an energy-storage system.” If that wasn’t mind-bendingly futuristic enough, “the team is using aerospace polymer technology within the bodywork to allow the carbon fibre to self-heal minor imperfections.” Sorry, what?!
A self-healing electric hypercar, that’ll also have an AI driver analysis program to coach you through your driving techniques. Mental.
A few nerds over at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have actually proven that this carbon nanotechnology can work on a small scale on behalf of Lamborghini, it’s now just a case of industrialising this to wider production demands. To make this possible, however, the Terzo will need a ‘supercapacitor’ – sounds like a slightly incorrect Back To The Future reference, no? Well the device, if made possible, will be able to store up to 100 times the energy of a regular battery pack, bringing those near-impossible performance goals within reach.
Such a power system will allow for the four in-wheel motors to control torque vectoring, braking and steering at unprecedented levels of precision and speed. The interior will feature the lowest of Formula 1-style seating position possible thanks to the absence of a battery pack.
It’s an issue, and it’s probably the biggest concern for the future of hypercars here on. The sound.
When we spoke to Jeremy Clarkson about this exact dilemma, his thoughts were optimistic yet matter of fact. “I’ll miss the sound of a Lamborghini V12 in an Italian tunnel,” he said. “I will miss that sound. But you know, at least you don’t lose any of the speed with batteries that’s for sure.” The Terzo is going to run straight at this issue head-on, with the aim of creating a soundtrack from the rapid airflow over the body panels – like a huge musical instrument of sorts. What that will actually sound like is anyone’s guess, but Lamborghini is on the hunt for the answer to the biggest question around EV hypercars, and if anyone’s going to nail it, it’ll be them.
All sound too good to be true? Hell yeah it does, and that’s understandable. I’ve struggled to even comprehend the technology enough to be able to articulate it for you myself. I immediately filed this one under some sort of Donald Trump type “Cool, doesn’t work,” shut down of the concept.
But it looks as if I’ll likely have to eat my words. This seemingly dreamy idea is actually a project that is well and truly underway. “This is a revolution,” said Reggiani. “It can be risky, you are right, but if you want to be a visionary, you must also take risks. When we created the first Aventador, people said to us, ‘Are you crazy? It’s not possible to have a sustainable project with a full monocoque in carbon fibre.’ We have proved it was not only possible, but it was a big success, and we just now produced chassis number 8,000.”
If EV’s haven’t already flipped the car industry on its head, the Terzo Millennio has picked it up and body slammed it through the floor. We can’t wait.