Currently reading: Paris motor show 2010: Lamborghini Sesto Elemento
Sesto Elemento concept showcases "the future of the company"; power-to-weight ratio of a superbike

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.

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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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optimal_909 1 October 2010

Re: Lambo's dramatic 999kg concept

I don't like the design despite being a fan of the Countach. But in any case it's nice to see Lamborghini showing something radical, "industry's best" they ceased to do after the Diablo. After all that is what Ferrucio wanted.

mantaray 1 October 2010

Re: Lambo's dramatic 999kg concept

Lesia44 wrote:
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.

My dad told me he saw on a program that the drivers area in the new Scirocco was styled after an F-16. I take it the stylist has never seen an F-16 then? But anyway, it's not just Lambo that are "juvenile"

Despite that, isn't that the point. A car like this is meant to make you feel like a 12 yo kid playing with his matchbox cars on the living room carpet!

DSP123 1 October 2010

Re: Lambo's dramatic 999kg concept

You know the occasion: you're cooking for your significant other. Best meat, fresh veggies, and their favourite sauce. Time to add just the right amount of spice for that subtle kick that it needs to be perfect. You lift the shaker and ..... the top falls off and twenty times too much falls into the mix. Too late to make another batch so you serve it up anyhow.

That's this car for me. Too much of everything. Too F-117. Too much internals showing externally. Too much dissociated surface treatment. Too many mix 'n' match design themes.

Putting this in your garage with your classics would be like keeping a junkyard mongrel with your Borzois and Salukis.