The sixth element

Behold the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento.

20101001_sesto_three-quarter

Lamborghini revealed the car at the Paris Auto Show this week. It’s a concept, and extremely unlikely to go into production as presented. It appears to be a vehicle <chortle> to demonstrate their mastery of carbon fibre manufacturing. Sesto Elemento is Italian for sixth element, and the sixth element is indeed carbon.

So what’s the big deal, you ask? The big deal is the car’s small mass.

The car seats only two, but it’s powered by a 5.7 litre V-10 engine that will generate 570 hp at 8000 RPM and 398 lb-ft at 6500 RPM. The company claims a 0–60 mph time of 2.5 seconds. How can that be possible? It’s because the car weighs just 2200 lbs. I admit that sounds plenty heavy, but let me offer a comparison or two.

The Lamborghini Gallardo weighs in at 3300 lbs. My 2006 Volkswagen Jetta TDI tips the scales at 3306 lbs. The base model 2011 Ford Mustang weighs 3605 lbs. The Sesto Elemento is only a few hundred pounds heaver than a Lotus Elise, for goodness sakes! Carbon fibre is expensive and difficult to work with, but it is light and strong.

The interior is more spartan than a purpose-built race car, which lends further credence to the idea that this car will not be mass-produced in its current form.

If you have any doubt that it’s a mid-engine vehicle, this photo will put it to rest:

20101001_sesto_top

It’s a remarkable achievement and it would be fun to drive. That said, I don’t particularly like the way it looks. Wired describes the look as “Holy Roman empire and a side of red sauce, this mother is angry.” I don’t agree. It’s so angular and alien, that I get no hint of emotion from the styling. Nothing. And for the six-figure pricing of the production Lanborghinis, I’d better damned-well get some emotion!

I’d still jump at the chance to drive it, though.

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One Comment

  1. Shawn
    Posted October 4, 2010 at 08:00 | Permalink

    Those 0-60 times are approaching top fuel drag racing speeds. I doubt most drivers could handle the Gs. I recently drove in an Audi R8 and accelerations not nearly as fast are hard to handle in the passenger seat.

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