Sesto Elemento concept showcases "the future of the company"; power-to-weight ratio of a superbike
1 October 2010

Lamborghini says it is previewing “the future of the company” with its Paris show concept, called Sesto Elemento.

The show car is named after the symbol for carbon in the periodic table — the sixth element — and has a power-to-weight ratio similar to that of a superbike. It has been created with help from American aircraft giant Boeing.

See the official pics of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento concept - now updated with Paris show pics

The Sesto Elemento is constructed largely from a brand new material referred to by Lamborghini as forged carbon. This dramatic-looking machine is a clear indication of what the next Gallardo might look like when it appears in two years’ time, and what it will be made of.

At just 999kg, the car is extraordinarily light, considering that it’s also four-wheel drive and contains the potent running gear from the current Gallardo Superleggera. This gives it a power-to-weight ratio of 570bhp per tonne; by comparison, the rear-drive Ferrari 458 Italia has 370bhp per tonne.

As a result, the Sesto Elemento boasts the kind of performance that only superbike riders and Bugatti Veyron owners will be familiar with. Lamborghini quotes a 0-62mph time of just 2.5sec, with a top speed the same as that of the Superleggera.

Read the earlier leaked info and pic of the Sesto Elemento

The standing quarter mile is rumoured to be below the magic 10-second barrier, putting the car clear of even the mighty Veyron. Yet because the Sesto Elemento is a third of a tonne lighter than the Superleggera, it’s also more economical and cleaner.

“Every future Lamborghini will be touched by the spirit of the Sesto Elemento,” said Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann. This is a tacit admission that each new model from the supercar maker will make extensive use of forged carbon — although not, Autocar understands, the next Murciélago replacement because this car’s development is already too far down the line to fully benefit from the new material.

Lamborghini has created forged carbon in conjunction with Boeing and the University of Washington. It costs roughly a third of the price of regular carbonfibre but is the same weight and is almost as stiff.

Read more on Lamborghini's other show star

It’s manufactured in-house by Lamborghini at a new purpose-built plant, and is made by first vacuum packing, then pressing a material similar to carbon beneath an 80-tonne load.

The entire process takes less than 10 minutes and negates the need for baking at high temperatures for long periods of time — the method used to cure traditional resin-based carbonfibre. And because forged carbon costs so much less time and money to produce than regular carbonfibre, Lamborghini says it has been able to think “right outside the normal rules of car design” when it comes to the car’s shape and structure.

The Sesto’s tub is made from the new material, along with its doors, roof, bonnet, bumpers, major suspension components and virtually its entire interior, including the seats and dash.

“The structure of this car is at the centre of its function,” says engineering chief Maurizio Reggiani. “It represents a revolutionary way of building a car. This method is a true breakthrough, and we are extremely excited about what it means for our future.”

Steve Sutcliffe

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Comments
27

29 September 2010

I think this car looks like an amalgamation of Reventon, Gallardo and Countash!! Either way, Lamborghini has totally killed it with this new material. I mean, the weight is astonishing. Not far off a Lotus Elise! I just hope that they don't go and mess up the next Gallardo with a Stupid offset driving position and a stupid clumsy automated manual. The Lamborghini big-wigs should just swallow their pride and admit that a Double-Clutch Gearbox (like in the 458) is simply the best way to go!! All this talk about automated manual gearboxes giving more emotion is just complete rubbish!! Look what the DSG has done for 458, GTR, Veyron et al!!

Just as an aside (and speaking of gearboxes), has anyone else heard the rumour that the next Porsche (998) will have a 7-speed Manual Gearbox? That should be interesting!!

29 September 2010

That's as far as you can get from a road legal car surely. The bonnet needs to be a meter higher up for pedestrian impact safety. Unless there are loop holes or a new design that has bumper airbags instead of an impact zone..

29 September 2010

Darth Vader's car has arrived. Park it next to his Reventon! Nothing wrong with having a bit of family looks, but it does look modern and sharp. That carbon fibre weave look is fantastic with the folded paper styling. Wow! This ought to set a fire under Ferrari and every other supercar manufacturers butt. Go Lamborghini! Must find my cheque book...

30 September 2010

Wow! Apart from the looks (which I love) I think the weight reduction is what really impresses me.

30 September 2010

Will it filter to a lightweight skoda soon?

30 September 2010

This looks absolutely mad, like a Lamborghini should.

30 September 2010

This is a great day for car enthusiasts.A stunning Jag concept and an off the scale Lambo!!!! Impressive!!!!!

30 September 2010

Sharp is the word. This thing looks like it's been designed to slice and dice any pedestrians/cyclists thoughtless enough to fall into its path.

30 September 2010

What a mess. Only slightly dim 14 year old boys could like this display of amateur design. Such a shame that it actually turns out that the leaked photo actually was the car after all. I guess the writing was on the wall when they proudly announced that the dash of the Revention was inspired by a fighter jet dash - you kind of know where they're going when their design references are so juvenile. Lamborghini should be showing us the shape of things to come not presenting a luke warm '80s rehash. Disappointed.

30 September 2010

This car will be Lamborghini's response to the 1000kg concept car that Ferrari showed recently, as both manufacturers realise that they have to find ways to reduce weight on their production cars. Personally I like the idea of this Lambo being very aggresive and in your face, it is no Countach but it is ok.

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