Automakers look many years into the future when developing new models, but even by that measure, Lamborghini is goingto an extreme. Perhaps that is to be expected, given that itis Lamborghini were talking about. The Italian automaker wants to join the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in pondering supercars for the third millennium.
Lamborghini is hard at work on the technology and vehicles you’ll be lusting after in 2025, but wants to be even more forward-thinking than that.It remains to be seen just what Lamborghini expects from MIT, although anything that comes from the partnership probably would help Lamborghini’s siblings in the Volkswagen Group. Maurizio Reggiani, head of R&D at Lamborghini plans tospend the next fewdays talking to folks at the university to brainstorm ideas.“The super-sports car is always a laboratory for the future,Reggianisays.
While the “1000-year view” that Reggiani discusses sounds like nothing more than a line in a press release, it is fun to consider where things might go in the next decade or three.MIT excels at robotics, for example, so perhapsan autonomous supercar? Not likely says Reggiani. He believes Lamborghini ownersalways will insist on driving, but he cansee semi-autonomoussafety techplaying a role. He favors technology that helps drivers push their limits and sharpen their skills—a view Audi,which VW also owns, has expressed. Autonomous has a different meaning for Lamborghini, he says.
Lamborghini is seen as a leader in the development and use of carbon fiber in road cars, and MITs work with advanced materials is another potential area of collaboration.The automaker has a lab(Lambo Lab!) in Seattle, where it works with Boeing on composite materials. Lamborghini could explore advanced bio-materials with MIT, that mimic the bones in birds, which are strong yet delicate, or perhaps even shape-shifting alloys.“I don’t know whether they’re third millennium,” says Serenella Sferza, co-director of the MIT Italy Program. “They might be fourth.”
She’s kidding, of course, but Lamborghini must look to the future. Tightening fuel economy and emissions regulations have automakers embracing efficiency.MIT engineers could help Lamborghini move away from V8, V10, and V12 engines. In an announcement that is almost entirely coincidental, MIT just took another step toward practical, clean,nuclear energy. With a 1,000-year timeline, Lamborghini has plenty of time to develop Mr. Fusion.