Lamborghini's new Terzo Millennio is a self-healing supercar

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For now the project is in its most elementary stages with resources being pooled into a three year research program into supercapacitors which can simultaneously capture and release energy as well as energy-storing carbon fibre nanotubes which could one day replace the heavier lithium-ion batteries powering today's electric cars.

Lamborghini has revealed the Terzo Millennio, a concept supercar that ditches V12 engines in favour of supercapacitator-powered electric motors.

But to make this concept effort more than just compete and utter fantasy, the designers at Lambo joined forces with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to add some much-needed science into the Millennio mix. It will be electric, have a body that houses and distributes energy, and meet Lamborghini's legacy performance and design standards, the company's Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Maurizio Reggiani explained at an MIT press roundtable. It has always been the aim of the company to "create the dreams of the next generation". So, despite being electrified, Lamborghini's new concept vehicle will still be able to generate an audible sound, as what is expected from all supercars. Lamborghini is looking well into the future, claiming that conventional batteries aren't energy-dense enough - and says it will develop a new kind of supercapacitor.

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It also represents the first solid step toward a future all-electric supercar from Lamborghini, although CEO Stefano Domenicali told journalists in March at the 2017 Geneva motor show that future may be some ways off.

While promising, the car's design does present certain challenges which could take years for Lamborghini to overcome.

An overarching Terzo Millenio priority, according to Lamborghini execs, is that any electric super cars achieve the same emotional connection and response that Lamborghini owners are accustomed to today.

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Then there's the Terzo Millennio's "self-healing" capability, as the vehicle is supposed to be able to detect cracks and carbon fibre damage, and fix itself with "via micro-channels filled with healing chemistries".

Lamborghini said the target is "to provide the Terzo Millennio with the ability to conduct its own health monitoring to detect cracks and damages in its substructure derived from accidents". Much like self-healing paint on some Infiniti models, the resin, which forms the glue holding the carbonfibre together, will detect and fix cracks in the material substructure, eliminating the risk of a structural crack then forming from it. This would allow further weight reduction with increased use of carbon fiber or the application of CFK to high-fatigue parts.

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