Feature: Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Goes Into Production!
Growing up, I didn’t hang posters of the Backstreet Boys, Leonardo DiCaprio or 2pac. My room was adorned with four posters that I still remember vividly. The Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari Testarossa, Nissan Skyline R34 and the McLaren F1, you know, the orange one with the wooded backdrop that we are probably all too familiar with. It’s been many years since I’ve truly fantasized about owning one of those rare exotics, even though by today’s standards they would be considered fairly “cheap” relative to their original MSRPs. So what would I hang on my wall right now? It wouldn’t be the Bugatti Veyron – that would be almost too predictable, nor would it be the Mercedes-Benz SLS – that would be too clich. The Nissan GTR would be a good option but then that would be too practical. What car could I hang up today that I know would be cutthroat, nosebleedingly awesome like the cars of my youth? I haven’t been able to find a car for years, until now: The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento.
The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento was originally revealed as only a technological showcase concept at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Apparently some extremely wealthy people who are bored of their Enzos and McLarens pushed on Lamborghini to put the Sesto Elemento into production. The buzz generated was so great that Google Trends, a Google product that tracks search trends, had a 60x spike in Lamborghini Sesto Elemento searches in September of 2010, right after the initial presentation at the Paris Motor Show.
After the Paris Motor show all of our oil tycoon, ponzi scammer, and Hollywood friends thought it would be wise to help stimulate the global economy by turning their attention to Lamborghini and pushing them to make what will become the most expensive production car in the world. Lamborghini recently announced at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September that they will produce only 20 versions of this car. So unless you plan to get a capital infusion from Warren Buffet, I would scratch this one off your list.
The Sesto Elemento was originally designed around the Gallardo but built differently by being placed on a new all carbon technology that Lamborghini was itching to try out. The technology enhancements consist of a number of resin jellies, carbon composite materials, special hi-tech fabrics and a bunch of other new things that are interesting only if you have a degree in chemistry, but what’s truly spectacular to me is that the resulting car weighs in at exactly 999kg. That’s less than the weight of a Ford Focus, 40% lighter than the 1650kg Lamborghini Murcielago and 25% lighter than the Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera, an already light, stripped out, Gallardo that weighs a cool 1340kg. To put the weight into perspective from the other side, the Sesto Elemento weighs only twice as much as the Ariel Atom, which is essentially just a glorified go-kart.
Vehicle weight is not the best measure of anticipated head explosions, that is, until you factor in the power plant that will be propelling this beast. The Sesto Elemento will share a tuned version of the Gallardo’s mid-mounted V10, producing 570 horsepower and 398 ft-lb of torque that breaks your neck by going 0-60 in 2.5 seconds. With that power and low weight, the Sesto Elemento has an extremely low power to weight ratio of 1.75kg per hp. The Toyota Prius isn’t far behind (ha!) by yielding a 14.08 kg per hp, a BMW 760Li yields 5.13kg per hp, and the world renowned McLaren F1 yields 1.95kg per hp.
Not impressed yet? Have I mentioned that on top of being obscenely quick and anorexialy light that Lamborghini has also installed a permanent all-wheel drive system? That’s right. Even with an AWD system, the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento still weighs less than most competing vehicles and can keep the power and traction steady as all 570 horses are put to the road.
Aside from all of the fancy numbers on paper, I would have to say that this is probably one of my favorite car designs that I’ve seen in years. Traditionally, I am usually wooed by the curves of Aston’s artwork, the finesse of Ferrari’s ingenuity or the elegance of Rolls Royce but Lamborghini’s taken a totally different route with the Sesto Elemento and Aventador. Both of these cars feature sharp edges and clean lines that are so stunning you need to buy life insurance just to look at it. I believe that Lamborghini took a huge risk to step away from the industry design norms by making their latest creations look futuristic and menacing, but I really like it. I don’t see James Bond driving a Sesto Elemento any day, but I could totally see Chuck Norris eating one for breakfast.
There has been talk over the past few years that ever since Audi took over Lamborghini that they’re nothing but tamed bulls with R8 engines, but I think that Lamborghini’s decided to make a statement with the Sesto Elemento. Lamborghini wants to be known as anything but tame; upon entering their website you’re stopped with a warning: “Red evokes sin, guilt, pain, anger but also passion, courage, loyalty, honor, success and fortune. Do you Dare?” I would echo that question: do you dare? Do you dare purchase and drive a Sesto Elemento? Lamborghini might as well provide a letter of condolences already written for each of the 20 future Sesto Elemento owners. I’m betting that after they spend the $3+ million on the Sesto Elemento that the only thing that will remain is the tire marks of the legend that was.