Going faster with less weight.
In 1986 Lamborghini introduced a lightweight Countach Evoluzione that tipped the scales at less than 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs.). The super car showed the new direction that Lamborghini was striving towards with performance. Fast forward 24 years to the 2010 Paris Auto Show. In the days leading up to the event, the Italian automaker released a series of six teaser photos hinting at a new concept that was coming. That new concept was the Sesto Elemento, and was a demonstration in lightweight performance. It was also the first time since the lightweight Evoluzioni that Lamborghini produced a model that weighed less than 1,000 kg.
The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento originally began as a technology concept. The concept was a showcase of all the new and upcoming lightweight design, materials, and production methods by Lamborghini. It weighed in at 999 kg (2,197.8 lbs.). New production methods for carbon fiber, forged composites, carbon fiber reinforced plastic, and other materials were used to build the car and will eventually trickle down into the rest of the Lamborghini lineup. And after a very warm reception by enthusiasts and the media, Lamborghini has decided to give the green light to a limited number of production Sesto Elementos.
“The excellent feedback and the numerous requests we’ve had from our customers have really convinced us to embark on the challenge of producing a vehicle with unique characteristics. We are proud that what a year ago was just a ‘technology demonstrator’ of future super sports cars, even though in working order, will become a small series reality”, said President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, Stephan Winkelmann. “Only 20 units of the new Sesto Elemento super sports car will be produced, and will be destined only for track use. We’re planning to deliver the first cars at the beginning of 2013.”
Almost every aspect of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento is centered on cutting weight to improve performance. The wedge-shaped design with sharp triangles slices through air with exposed carbon fiber aerodynamic bodywork gleaming red from the crystals that are used throughout the fibers. The monocoque shell is constructed from carbon fiber forged composites, giving it an incredibly strong and lightweight makeup. Suspension components, the driveshaft, and even the wheels are made from carbon fiber to reduce weight wherever possible. Lamborghini didn’t even use lightweight titanium for the exhaust. Instead, it is made from Pyrosic glass ceramic matrix composite that is lighter than metal and has a resistance up to 900° Celsius.
All that carbon fiber and lightweight composites gives the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento unrivaled acceleration and handling. Behind the two passengers sits a 5.2-liter V-10 straight from the Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo. The engine produces 570 horsepower at 8,000 RPM and 398 lb-ft. at 6,500 RPM, resulting in an astonishing power-to-weight ratio of 1.75 kg per HP. This allows the Sesto Elemento to accelerate from 0-62 mph in only 2.5 seconds. Power is sent to all four wheels through an advanced all-wheel drive system and six-speed e-gear transmission with lightning fast shifts.
Even the interior uses every carbon fiber weight trimming technique imaginable, and then some. Virtually everything from the seats to the doors is made of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic in a minimalistic design. Small buttons control the engine, transmission and lights on the center console, while a gauge screen provides the driver with essential information while driving.
The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento will go into a limited production of just 20 cars, with each car being designated strictly for track use. Deliveries will begin in early 2013. Pricing has not been released but expect the super car to fetch a high price.
Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Specifications
Displacement: 5.2 liters
Number of Cylinders: V-10
Lubrication: Dry sump
Cylinder Angle: 90 degrees
Maximum Horsepower: 570 at 8,000 RPM
Maximum Torque: 398 lb-ft. at 6,500 RPM
Horsepower-per-Liter Ratio: 109.6 hp/liter
Type: Six-speed e-gear
Acceleration 0-62 mph: 2.5 seconds
Top Speed: Over 186 mph
Curb Weight: 2,198.8 lbs. (999 kg)
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 1.75 kg/hp
Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Gallery
Which limited production Lamborghini would you rather have: the Reventón or the Sesto Elemento? Leave a comment and let us know!