Lamborghini has already confirmed that the Sesto Elemento will indeed be headed to the production line, albeit in a very limited run. With such a minute number being produced, anyone would be hard-pressed to get know when Lamborghini is even actively selling it, let alone be able to grab hold of one of those units. The task of purchasing an Elemento got even harder as a high-end dealership in La Jolla, just north of San Diego, confirmed that Lamborghini was already accepting orders for the car and that only three units were headed over to the United States.
The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento will be offered at a princely sum and rumors suggest that payment will be taken Reventon-style, which means three equal payments of $300,000 or higher with the remainder being paid at the end of the deal. That kind of price tag will bring its owner a 570 HP V10 engine and a power-to-weight ratio of only 1.75 kilograms per HP. This allows the Sesto Elemento to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a sensational 2.5 seconds, while top speed will be higher than 186 mph.
Anyone willing and able to pay that incredible price tag better have their phone in hand and their bank account numbers handy.
UPDATE 08/21/2012: The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento was on display at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours where Lambo representatives have confirmed that the model is priced at a cool $2.2 million. Anyone lucky enough to scrap together enough cash will still be heartbroken when they hear that all 20 units have already been sold. (GT Spirit)
Hit the jump for more details on the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento
The main component of the new Sesto Elemento is carbon fiber and more specifically carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). Lamborghini has been able to successfully develop a process that takes the material from 3D design through simulation, validation, testing, and finally into production. Its collaboration with the Boeing company is perhaps one of the most important to the development of this vehicle. The two companies have been able to develop the CFRP design much further than ever before thanks to their ACRC (Advanced Composite Research Center). Two of the most unique parts designed for the exterior are the wheels made entirely out of carbon fiber and the exhaust system which is made out of a material called Pyrosic. This is a glass ceramic composite that can withstand high heat.
“The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento shows how the future of the super sports car can look – extreme lightweight engineering, combined with extreme performance results in extreme driving fun. We put all of our technological competence into one stunning form to create the Sesto Elemento,” comments Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “
Nearly every panel of the vehicle is graced with this carbon fiber material including the monocoque passenger cell, front frame, exterior panels, and crash boxes. One of the coolest aspects of the car is that it remains unpainted in the traditional sense. The panels shine through in a matte finish, but Lamborghini has added one last piece of magic to their carbon-fiber. Towards the end of the development process fine crystals are added to the mixture and in the end a red glow is added to the entire exterior. The surface is not only stunning, but actually much stronger than a normal paint job.
Cool air is able to flow through two red triangular openings in the hood beneath the front windscreen and through large outlets in the side panels behind the front wheels. Sharply cut headlamp units complete the front end. Alongside the bi-xenon lamps, there are four LEDs in each unit. The low front end looks incredibly dominant, with the partially double-lipped front spoiler pushed way out front and distinctively formed air intakes. A powerful sideline 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 shape is used extensively – and can be seen everywhere from the door handles to the points of the air outlet triangles in the hood that are carried through into lines along the roof. The aerodynamic elements of the Sesto Elemento are unmatched in today’s world and the design is absolutely stunning.
Lamborghini has been able to take a standard car interior and completely turn it on its head. The design of the Sesto Elemento circles around function rather than form and the first defines the latter. The interior is exclusively shaped by the carbon fiber monocoque tub which provides a minimalist yet purely Lamborghini feeling. The most unique feature is the fact that the Sesto Elemento does not have seats. Quite literally the cushioning is fixed to the carbon fiber tub giving the driver an unparalled sense of road feel. In order to adapt drivers of differing stature the steering wheel is completely adjustable for height and reach. Furthermore, the pedals can be adjusted longitudinally.
As for the use of leather, wood grain, or any other typical luxury material, they are non-existent. This car gives the feel of a race car once inside. The CFRP material is exposed everywhere and even major components of the engine management system are visible. Controls are just as simple and include a starter button, reverse gear button, and a final switch for the lights. The weight reduction inside and out has led to a major savings when compared to other lightweight Lamborghini models. The Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera has a dry weight of only 1,340 kilograms. Compared with the already extremely lean Gallardo LP 560-4 Coupé, this represents a further reduction of 70 kilograms, or 154 lbs, which would easily make it the lightest of any sports car.
With the Elemento having an overall curb weight of just 2,202 lbs and a massive V10 power unit feeding a permanent all-wheel drive system, this car is sure to impress on the track. Output is 570hp giving the lightweight bull a power to weight ratio of 1.75 kilograms per horsepower. What that statistic really comes down to is the car being able to accelerate from a standstill through 60mph in 2.5 seconds.
The V10 offers 5,204 cm3 of displacement, delivering a specific output of 80.5 kW (109.6 hp) per liter of displacement. The engine utilizes an aluminum crankcase including dry sump lubrication and a cylinder angle of 90 degrees. Both solutions are an integral part of the lightweight engineering approach, as well as serving to lower the center of gravity and thus tighten the handling characteristics. Ideal combustion chamber fill comes courtesy of a switch-over induction system and continually variable, chain-driven camshafts.
Lamborghini has taken its carbon fiber knowledge and expanded it to the suspension as well. Carbon-fiber control arms help reduce weight while the rear subframe with the engine mount and rear axle suspension points are made from aluminum which is another lightweight material that is used extensively in high performance vehicle design. The glass composite material used for the tailpipes on the exhaust system, which is composed of ceramic powder and synthetic resin, makes this carbon material extremely heat resistant.
The Sesto will use an e-gear transmission controlled by paddle shifters on the steering column. It uses a six gear setup and is automated to complete shifts faster than a human is able to. The final piece of the equation for the Sesto Elemento was the use of its partner company Audi and their knowledge of all-wheel drive systems.
The production Sesto Elemento is rumored to be priced at 1.9 million euro, or about $2.8 million at the current exchange rates, with units arriving in October 2011. Apparently, only 20 units of this supercar will be built, with three headed over to stateside.
In the $2-3 million dollar category, there is quite literally no competition for this car. Nothing on today’s market exhibits the use of carbon fiber to the same extent that the Sesto Elemento has and in the near future don’t look for any rivals. The Koenigsegg Agera R is close in some respects, but goes about things completely differently. It and the Bugatti Veyron are more concerned with using brute force to reach high speeds, where the Lamborghini was initially a testbed for CFRP technology. Koenigsegg is a company that has a lot of experience with carbon fiber as well, but has nowhere near the resources that Lamborghini can pull from thanks to the help from Boeing. Overall, this car will go down in the history books as one of the most radical design concepts to ever come from Sant’Agata Bolognese – and that is not something said every day.
If I had a spare $2-3 million, it would be earmarked for this car