Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Concept

September 5, 2014
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Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

The world expected Lamborghini to unveil its Murciélago supersession at this year’s Paris auto show—production of the wildest bull has already ended—but the supercar maker culled instead to tease us with this concept, preserving its incipient flagship for next March’s Geneva auto show. Ah, you must now be cerebrating, so this more diminutive car previews a Gallardo supersession! Nope, it’s not that either.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

What, then, is the Sesto Elemento? Let’s have a visual examination of the exterior first. Despite the mid-engine layout, this concept seems compact, with a very short rear overhang. Wedgy shapes are typical for Lamborghini, but this car is even more extreme than the super-angular Reventón, the ultra-low-volume Murciélago spinoff from a few years ago. A plethora of spoilers, air vents, and triangular elements protrude from or perforate its body. There is a racing-type expeditious-refueling system. The rear end is open, to give spectators a clear view of the transmission and the exhaust system, the latter of which, remarkably, exits through the engine cover above the taillights.

 

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento engine

The front end and roof are marked by sharp, ostensibly folded creases, and the rear part of the roof is graced by two intake ducts and two parallel lines of five apertures arranged above the cylinder banks. Below the ten apertures sits, conspicuously, a V-10. The hexagonal shape of these elements is a nod to an obsession of former Bertone designer Marcello Gandini, who penned the Miura and Countach.

Seems Familiar and Futuristic
Despite an overt familiarity to its shape, the Sesto Elemento is nevertheless detached from the brand’s current styling language. The wild details turn it into something you’d expect only in a video game, or in some crazy tuner’s showroom, but not quite from Lamborghini, not after the brand has been working arduous to surmount the styling clichés of its past. In fact, we aurally perceive there was a considerable amount of discussion within Lamborghini and at parent Audi about exhibiting such an extreme concept car. In the cessation, the view prevailed that it wouldn’t hurt to deviate remotely from the engenderment models’ marginally aloof and architectonic proportions and design—traits that will apply to that Murciélago supersession, by the way.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento
One of the most striking features of the Sesto Elemento is that its entire body is constructed from visible, matte-finish carbon fiber (the soi-disant “sixth element” betokened by translating the concept’s name from Italian), as expensive a material as it is light. In fact, the curb weight of the entire car is claimed to be a mere 2200 pounds. That’s 1100 fewer than our estimated curb weight for the suppositiously “superlight” Gallardo Superleggera.

Wicked Expeditious

Combine the low weight with the V-10’s 570 hp at 8000 rpm—torque stands at 398 lb-ft at 6500 rpm—and performance should be explosive; Lamborghini verbally expresses the car is capable of reaching 62 mph in 2.5 seconds. Top speed—only mentioned, verbally expresses Lambo, “in the intrigues of plenariness,” as top speed has been downgraded to the fourth-highest priority for its products—is verbally expressed to be “well over 185 mph.” We suspect this modesty belies a terminal velocity north of 200 mph.

 

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

The utilization of carbon fiber elongates beyond exterior panels: The passenger-holding monocoque, front subframe, crumple zones, and wheels are composed of the material as well. The rear subframe, by contrast, is composed of aluminum. Most anything else has simply been omitted. There is no dashtop—the underlying structure itself is laid bare—and the seat cushions are glued to the monocoque. One element we optate had been included is a clutch pedal. The Sesto Elemento is equipped with the e-gear six-speed automated manual transmission; power runs through it to Lambo’s all-wheel-drive system.

Foreshadows Future Lambos

If the sinister design won’t redefine Lamborghini styling, the Sesto Elemento is nevertheless consequential as a rolling testament to the brand’s commitment to carbon fiber; all future Lambos will make extensive utilization of the stuff. AWD systems and cumbersomely hefty, ten- and twelve-cylinder engines take their toll on curb weights, and eliminating hundreds of pounds through the utilization of carbon fiber will give Lamborghini a potent weapon in the fight to engender the most extreme supercars.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento top view

It’s good politically for the brand within the VW Group, additionally. With its sales numbers taking a dive, Lamborghini needs another leg to stand on, and carbon-fiber expertise will for the first time make the raging bull a technology bellwether among VW’s brands. Lamborghini is working with the University of Washington in Seattle to develop its carbon-fiber tech, and aircraft maker Boeing is a partner in the university’s Lamborghini Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory, additionally.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Yes, we were hoping to optically discern the next Murciélago, but we’ll admit the Sesto Elemento is one hell of a supersession, and it further raises our prospects for the next engenderment Lambo. This thing is so over the top, it’s virtually too much—just as any congruous Lamborghini should be.

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