2017 was an important year for Lamborghini.
The firm kicked off the year by updating the Aventador, its flagship model, and ended it with the introduction of the long-awaited Urus, its first SUV in over 30 years. Both models are on sale right now; they’re Lamborghini’s present and immediate future. But what will the first babies born in 2018 have posters of on their bedroom wall when they become teenagers? One possible answer to that question lies in the Terzo Millennio, a wildly futuristic concept car introduced at MIT in November.
Digital Trends chatted with Mitja Borkert, the head of Lamborghini’s design department, to learn how the electric, self-healing Terzo Millennio (a name which, bytheway, means “third millennium” in Italian) will shape supercars in the years to come. Spoiler alert: it’s more realistic than it looks.
Digital Trends: Lamborghini unveiled the Terzo Millennio concept last year. It was the most futuristic model you’ve introduced to date. Were you involved in the project?
Mitja Borkert, Lamborghini Design Director
Mitja Borkert: Quite a bit, yes. It was one of the dreams that came true last year. The Terzo Millennio was a big statement for me as chief designer. It was the first Lamborghini project I worked on 100 percent, and it was absolutely cool and unexpected to make such a statement. It’s, of course, quite a car.
It’s quite something. And, I liked presenting this car in Boston at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), not at a car show. It was a more particular kind of environment, especially for a young brand. Presenting it in front of students in a classroom, going outside, and then showing the car was something super cool.
What is your favorite part of it?
I think for me there are three things. The first is proportion. I believe, and this is what I’m pushing for the next 10 to 15 years, I believe in supercars. And I believe even if they need to be electric, even if we have to house some batteries – I’m pushing for low cars. Today, everybody is putting the battery underneath the driver. In theory, in the future it’s no longer possible to make super-low cars.
As a designer, I’m just pointing out this is one way to do things, and it’s fine. But what do we want to have in 10 or 15 years? Depending on what is happening in the different global markets, if electrification is becoming mandatory, then I’m pointing out we need to find some other solutions to keep those dreams alive.
The second feature I like is the wheels. They embody the idea of using four in-wheel electric motors. And, a very important feature is the strategic use of the upsilon. The “y” shape. That is something I want to make stronger and stronger in the future of Lamborghini design. We have used this “y” shape on the Urus and on the front and the back of the Centenario. I really want to point out this is us; this is Lamborghini. That’s we wanted to make a strong statement with the Terzo Millennio.
If we come back to the Detroit Auto Show in 2040, will there be one sitting in the Cobo Center?
In my opinion, it would be possible. The purpose of this car, first of all, was to make a statement. The second purpose, it was clear I didn’t want to design something you can buy now and drive on the street, like a Huracan. The purpose is for it to be like a demonstrator you can use on a closed track to enjoy the power and the different emotion such a car could give you. So, in that respect, we designed it to be much more radical without any compromise.
So, is it feasible?
Yes, I think. Depending on the price. It would be quite complicated but, I mean, in terms of a small, limited production run it would be for sure possible. Lamborghini can make anything possible. But we won’t build it as-is because everyone has already seen it. Remember, our motto is “expect the unexpected.” We cannot use the concept as the basis of a production vehicle. We have to come up with new ideas and invent new shapes. That’s the fun and challenging part of the job.