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Lamborghini rocks the Paris Motor Show with its superlight concept car

By Rigval on 03 Oct 2010

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It is absolutely amazing to wake up in the morning, open up your email and receive news from Lamborghini on the unveiling of their latest concept car at the Paris Motor Show (Aside from actually being there, that is). This time, Lamborghini have called their concept car the Sesto Elemento, or Sixth Element (in the periodic table, carbon is the sixth element, hence its name). This car is about the size of a Gallardo but weighs an amazing 999kg - A whole kilogram below 1000kg and an amazing 341kg lighter than the Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera.

The Sesto Elemento is still packed with the usual Lamborghini 5.0liter V10 engine and its all-wheel drive drivetrain. A truly amazing achievement in an era where weight has caused all cars to be slightly heavier than its supposed to be. And due to its light weight, the car has a power to weight ratio of 570bhp/ton. Compare this with the 420bhp/ton of the normal Gallaro Superleggera and you know you have a winner folks.

0-100km/h is now 2.5seconds with a similar V-max of 300km/h compared with the porkier Gallardo Superleggera. Only an Ariel Atom, a ridiculous Caterham SuperSports with a V8 or a Bugatti Veyron would achieve such vicious acceleration this side of a superbike.

All this weight loss comes from Lamborghini investing in the latest carbon fiber technology. According to Lamborghini, the Sesto Elemento has an extremely solid, stiff, safe and lightweight carbon-fiber structure: the monocoque cell of the Sesto Elemento. The entire front frame, the exterior panels and crash boxes are also made from CFRP.

The Sesto Elemento’s major suspension components and the rims are made from carbon fiber. The tailpipes are made from Pyrosic, an advanced glass-ceramic matrix composite, Even the drive shaft to the rear is made of CFRP.

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As for the design elements, the side profile is cut like a sharp wedge, with the power center of the car showing just in front of the rear axle. A distinctive character line starts at the front wheel arch, rises along the door towards the rear and ends at the broad shoulders above the rear wheel. The triangle – for example the door handle - is a recurring design theme, defined by the precise contour edges in the Sesto Elemento’s CFRP body. The points of the air outlet triangles in the hood are carried through into lines along the roof. It however doesn't seem to have a proper rear window. Cameras must take its place for reversing but since this is just a concept car, 'trivial' things like rear visibility takes a back seat.

The extremely wide sills form a connection between the air outlets behind the front wheels and the large air inlets in front of the rear wheels. These compartments house components such as the radiators for cooling the engine and transmission oil. The rims have a five-spoke design and are made entirely from carbon fiber. They offer a clear view of the high-performance brakes with carbon-ceramic discs.

We can see that the Sesto Elemento’s rear overhang is extremely short and, again, defined by optimum aerodynamics. The generously dimensioned spoiler is perfectly matched to the diffuser and a further air deflector in the center, thus guaranteeing maximum downforce for extreme cornering speeds and excellent high-speed directional stability. The Pyrosic tailpipes are directed upwards through the engine cover panel, which also incorporates ten hexagonal openings and two air scoops behind the roof for delivering fresh air to the V10 power plant.

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“Every future Lamborghini will be touched by the spirit of the Sesto Elemento,” said Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann, the immaculately dress gentleman in the photo above. I hope so too. This reduction of weight is the future of car technology. Less weight means less fuel consumption, even for a 5.0 V10. One cannot help but wonder and wait for all of this ‘lightweightness’ to trickle down to Lamborghini’s production cars.

An era of weight reduction is now in progress. It isn't about larger engines or more power, but less weight to increase the power to weight ratio and performance of these cars.

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

  • 1
Elijahritz Nov 17 2010 09:14 AM
This is what you really call a sports car or even a super car. I really like how Lamborghini design their car. This new concept car is more sporty and hotter that before. I also like the color combination of black exterior and red interior with a nice <a href="http://www.car-stuff...lhub.htm">wheel hub</a> and unique design of the steering wheel. This is really an overwhelming car from Lamborghini. I give it a 5 out of 5.
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