The next generation of Lamborghinis could act as their own superpowered batteries and be able to repair themselves.
Lamborghini unveiled the Terzo Millennio ("third millennium") concept car at the EmTech conference in Cambridge, Mass., on Monday. The car is the product of the first 12 months of a three-year partnership between the automaker and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
True to Lamborghini tradition, the car has a lean, windswept design and the brand's trademark Y taillights. The windshield seems to extend from the top of the car almost to the driver's toes, and the body crouches so low it almost looks like an outgrowth of the road.
But the most remarkable aspects of the car are invisible -- not least because they don't exist yet.
Lamborghini plans to develop supercapacitors that can provide the fast and intense energy needed to power a supercar and would allow for all-electric models. The lithium ion batteries in today's electric cars release energy more slowly and run down over repeated charges because they depend on chemical reactions. Supercapacitors store energy physically and don't generate the heat of lithium ions, but as of yet they don't offer as much power. The technology is currently used in hybrid vehicles, but for limited functions like getting stopped engines going again.