Lamborghini’s New Direction: Sesto Elemento Concept

For nearly a year, images of a camouflaged supercar have appeared on virtually every automotive-enthusiast site with all signs pointing to the highly anticipated Murciélago successor: the Lamborghini Jota. Excitement for the new car quickly developed into rumor frenzy as the Italian automaker began to release teaser shots of the car that would take the stage at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. It turns out, however, that the detailed images of the exhaust pipes, 10-cylinder engine cover, and carbon-fiber body panels were all for show, as Lamborghini unveiled a concept car called Sesto Elemento.

Literally translated from Italian, the name means “sixth element” and represents the Italian automaker’s dedication to carbon composites. Designed to demonstrate advancements in (and benefits of) carbon-fiber development, the Sesto Elemento weighs in at an extraordinarily svelte 2,202 pounds. Due to this lightweight construction, Lamborghini claims that the concept car can reach 60 mph from a standstill in a Bugatti-like 2.5 seconds—all this from a 570-horsepower version of the Gallardo’s V-10 engine.

But Lamborghini is not alone in this carbon-fiber research. The Italian automaker announced from the stand at the Paris show that it has teamed up with Callaway Golf. The first product to come out of this partnership is a material called Forged Composite. This new material can actually be shaped in a better way than standard carbon fiber, making more complicated angles easier to achieve. This might explain why the Sesto Elemento has more angles than a Picasso painting. Although it is merely a concept car, this latest model does provide a glimpse into Lamborghini’s future production pipeline—and perhaps an even better idea of what to expect from the forthcoming Jota. (www.lamborghini.com)

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