Lamborghini does one thing exceedingly well: build gorgeous supercars that travel at ridiculous speeds. The Italian automaker occasionally ventures outside its lane to keep things interesting—like when it announced last summer that it was releasing a $2,450 leather smartphone for some reason—but for the most part, it sticks to cranking out four-wheeled wonders that start at six figures.
Yet, as The Verge points out, Lamborghini could be facing something of a low-key crisis in the coming years: With more and more luxury automakers such as Porsche and Mercedes-Benz veering into the world of electric cars and self-driving vehicles, the Italian titan feels the pressure to keep pace, even if Lamborghini customers would rather jump into a Honda Civic than give up their cylinders or relinquish control of the wheel to robots. “You don’t normally buy a sports car to have it driven by a computer,” Alessandro Farmeschi, COO for Lamborghini America, told The Verge.
Lamborghini’s move? Team up with the smartest scientists on the planet to create something the auto world has never seen before. Earlier this week, the company unveiled its Terzo Millennio, a concept that looks like the Batmobile on the outside, but whose biggest innovations lie under the hood. Fittingly, Lamborghini teased the Terzo at the EmTech conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to the students and teachers at MIT who have partnered with the manufacturer to develop game-changing “supercapacitors” for powering supercars.
Modern electric cars employ lithium-ion batteries, which release energy slowly and depend on chemical reactions to charge up, according to Bloomberg. Low-voltage supercapacitors, meanwhile, store energy physically, but don’t provide the same power as lithium-ions, which is why they’re only used in hybrid cars in a limited capacity. But Lamborghini and MIT are working on a way to build these supercapacitors out of carbon-fiber panels that form the body of the car, which means the Terzo—and other future electric cars just like it—could act as its own battery.
As we sit back and wait for more details to trickle out, check out The Verge’s write-up for more dazzling photos of the concept, which, for now, is just that: a tantalizing concept. But Lamborghini’s partnership with MIT lasts for three years, so you can expect to have your mind blown at least a couple more times.