2013 Lamborghini Sesto Elemento
Lamborghini has announced it will build 20 production models of the Sesto Elemento, a bantamweight concept car shown last year during the Paris Auto Show. The car weighs only 2200 lb., thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber in its construction. A 570-bhp 5.2-liter V-10 engine, mounted behind the passenger compartment, provides power (and lots of it). To put this into perspective, the Sesto Elemento weighs about 400 lb. less than a Mini Cooper S, but has more than three times its horsepower! It's a pity that Lamborghini says the production version of the Sesto Elemento is intended for "track use" only.
Less is More
Lamborghini President and CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, has stressed the important role lightweight materials will play in the company's future lineup. The Sesto Elemento has taken this ethos to the extreme, by employing carbon fiber in every aspect of the car's construction. The seats are formed directly into the carbon-fiber tub, with thin cushions and high-tech fabrics attached directly to the monocoque. To get comfortable, the driver adjusts the position of the steering wheel and pedals to the fixed seating position. Instruments, dials, and cabin trim have been kept to an absolute minimum.
The Sesto Elemento has a stellar weight-to-power ratio of 3.85 lb. per horsepower. The 2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1—which has 638 bhp and a top speed of 205 mph—seems positively porky in comparison, carrying 5.2 lb. per bhp. However, remember that the Vette can be driven on public roads, whereas the Sesto Elemento is limited to showing off its tire-smoking heroics solely on racetracks.
Lamborghini estimates the Sesto Elemento can sprint from zero to 62 mph in only 2.5 seconds. In terms of raw acceleration, this places the Lambo in some extremely exclusive company. In our recent test of the fastest-accelerating supercars (Road & Track, December 2011) the Sesto Elemento would leave the Nissan GT-R and Porsche 911 Turbo S eating its dust. Only the almighty Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport—which starts at a cool $2.6 million—could give this little Lamborghini a run for its money.
And money you will need. The Sesto Elemento, when in goes sale in early 2013, is expected to cost in excess of $2 million.