Lamborghini and MIT team up to create the self-healing supercar of the future

You would expect the combination of Lamborghini and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to produce a killer supercar, and the Lamborghini Terzo Millenio concept doesn’t disappoint. Unveiled as part of MIT’s EmTech conference, it’s Lambo’s first all-electric concept car, and sports nifty features like self-healing bodywork and semi-autonomous driving capability.

The Terzo Millenio is powered by four electric motors, one for each wheel. But instead of a battery pack like the ones used in today’s electric cars, the motors get their electricity from supercapacitors. While automotive applications have been limited so far, Lamborghini believes supercapacitors are the answer to many of the limitations of current electric cars. Supercapacitors can charge and discharge faster, and store more energy in a given footprint, the automaker claims.

Like any self-respecting supercar, the Terzo Millenio is wrapped in attention-grabbing bodywork. But there’s more to that skin than meets the eye. One area of Lamborghini and MIT’s joint research is the use of carbon fiber body panels as an energy-storage medium, essentially turning the bodywork into a battery. The material can also detect small cracks and “heal” itself, preventing the cracks from expanding and causing an outright breakage.

Lamborghini is adamantly against fully autonomous cars, but the automaker does believe limited autonomy could have a place in future supercars. Instead of taking over driving duties completely, the Terzo Millenio can coach its owner into being a better driver by demonstrating the best line around a track. It would be just like going for a familiarization lap with an instructor, but without the instructor.

Of the many technologies demonstrated on the Terzo Millenio, the autonomous-driving function is probably the closest to production. Lamborghini’s corporate cousin Audi has already taught self-driving cars to lap racetracks fairly quickly, and Roborace has demonstrated a self-driving race car. Lambo’s virtual coach is probably the most appropriate use of this technology in a car which exists solely to give human drivers a thrill.

Nothing about the Lamborghini Terzo Millenio is ready for production yet, though. This concept car just charts a possible course for future generations of Lamborghini supercars. It shows that even if Lambo’s signature V12 engines go the way of the dinosaur, performance still has a future.

Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Product Review

2019 Lamborghini Urus first drive review

Twenty five years after the demise of the V12-powered LM002, Lamborghini rejoins the sport-utility segment with the Urus, a veritable tour de force of technology, luxury, and speed.
Cars

Audi’s self-driving car unit teams up with Luminar to go driverless in 2021

Audi's self-driving car unit has teamed up with Luminar to develop and test autonomous technology. Luminar provides its lidar technology, which sees farther than the sensors offered by rivals, while Audi brings its own software.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

California wants all-electric public bus fleet on its roads by 2040

California approved a regulation that targets an all-electric public bus fleet for the whole state by 2040. The effect of the full implementation of the regulation is equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road.
Cars

1,000-mph Bloodhound supersonic car project finds a last-minute savior

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has found a buyer. The project was going to be disbanded after running out of funds, but its assets were purchased by British businessman Ian Warhurst.
Cars

Ford’s prototype Quiet Kennel uses noise-canceling tech to keep dogs stress-free

Ford is ending 2018 by venturing into the doghouse market. The company's European division has built a kennel equipped with active noise-canceling technology and soundproof walls that help dogs sleep through fireworks.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.
Cars

The best compact cars pack full-size features in fun-size packages

The best compact cars on the market rival their counterparts in many ways, proving that bigger isn’t always better. Here, we've rounded up some of the better options available, including an SUV and an electric alternative.
Cars

Lincoln revives its coolest-ever design feature for limited-edition Continental

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.
Product Review

Ford’s reincarnated Ranger feels like a car that does everything a truck can do

The 2019 Ford Ranger aims to be a tool for weekend adventures, and goes head-to-head with midsize pickup trucks from Chevrolet, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. Ford hasn’t sold the Ranger in the United States since 2011, so it has to make up…
Cars

Land Rover’s upcoming high-tech Defender will leave last-gen model in the dust

Land Rover is giving the Defender a full reboot. The original SUV was a rugged machine built to go anywhere. Its replacement will tick those boxes, too, but it will add a dose of technology and luxury.