Mike Stevens | Nov 29, 2010

LAMBORGHINI SESTO ELEMENTO

Unveiled in September, Lamborghini's Sesto Elemento concept has had many raging bull fans speculating that it may offer the first look at what to expect from the company's upcoming Murcielago replacement.

Described as strictly a 'technology concept', the Sesto Elemento may nonetheless find its way to limited production, with Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann hinting at a track-only future.

“We are testing the Sesto Elemento at the moment and if it all goes well then we could look at a limited production run,” Winkelmann told Britain's Autocar this week.

“But it would not be homologated because there are complications with things like airbags. It would be for track use only.

Strengthening the hot supercar's chances, Winkelmann added "We do not want to ever produce and show cars just for a museum."

If the special Lambo does make it to production, it remains to be seen how much of its unique construction techniques and materials will carry over.

The body of the Sesto Elemento - which in English means 'sixth element', the atomic number for carbon - is made almost entirely from carbon fibre. Even the exhaust pipes are as advanced as can be, made from a special high-temperature composite called Pyrosic.

Thanks to its ultra-light construction, the Sesto Elemento weighs in at just 999kg. Power is provided by the Gallardo Superleggera's 425kW V10 engine, sent to all four wheels via Lamborghini's permanent all-wheel-drive system. Torque is listed as 540Nm at 6400rpm.

In keeping with Lamborghini's new philosophy that sees advanced construction techniques and handling take the priority away from raw power, the Sesto Elemento's lightweight body sees it virtually teleport to 100km/h in 'less than' 2.5 seconds - putting it on par with the 883kW W16-powered Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

"Regarding performance, until few years ago priorities were, in this order: top speed, acceleration and handling," Winkelmann said of the company's new direction.

In recent years this has been changing. Together with design, handling and acceleration are becoming more important."

Winkelmann's words ring true with the Sesto Elemento, with each horsepower unit produced by the V10 engine accelerating just 1.75kg of the concept's 999kg.

Despite its new focus on handling and construction, Lamborghini last week revealed a new V12 engine, destined to power the successor to the retired hero car, the Murcielago.

Producing 525kW and 690Nm of torque, the new V12 is a good 30kW more powerful than the highly-tuned V12 driving the Murcielago LP 670-4. Torque too is up, bettering the LP 670-4 by 30Nm.

The full details of the new V12 have yet to be revealed, although Lamborghini has revealed that its construction includes a crankcase and cylinder heads made from aluminium-silicon alloy.

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