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Future models - Lamborghini - Sesto Elemento

Frankfurt show: Lambo Sesto Elemento for production

Twenty of the best: Lamborghini will produce just 20 examples of the carbon-fibre Sesto Elemento that wowed crowds at Paris last year.

Track-only Sesto Elemento unlikely Down Under due to €2 million price tag: Lambo Oz

Lamborghini logo15 Sep 2011

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

FOLLOWING the unveiling of a limited-edition Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale at the Frankfurt show this week, Lamborghini president and CEO Stephan Winkelmann confirmed one of the automotive industry’s worst-kept secrets: the ultra-light, super-quick Sesto Elemento supercar that premiered at last year’s Paris show will make production.

Just 20 examples of the Raging Bull’s mean-looking 999kg carbon-fibre creation will be built, with first deliveries in early 2013, but none will be road-legal – and with an expected price of €2 million ($2.68 million) it will be a seriously expensive track-only proposition.

Only customers with seriously deep pockets and a deeply-held passion for all things Lamborghini need apply, especially as the Sesto Elemento can never be driven on the road.

Even so, the company obviously believes there is enough demand as it managed to find 35 customers for its €1 million, Murcielago-based Reventon roadster.

Lamborghini Australia managing director Andrew Smith told GoAuto that although customers had enquired about the Sesto Elemento, it is unlikely to be seen here.

“Nobody has come forward with the money and said they want to buy one,” he said.

“A lot of the collector cars are big in Japan, Europe, Singapore but Australia is not big on cars that are collectible.”

51 center imageMr Smith was unable to confirm the €2 million price tag but agreed it will “be somewhere around that mark”, further reducing its chances of ever being seen Down Under.

“I think it’s fairly cost prohibitive in Australia, with the all the costs you have to add on to it with the luxury car tax, GST, import duty and all those sorts of things.”

The Sesto Elemento is said to represent the “future of super sports cars”, according to Lamborghini’s manifesto that prioritises handling, acceleration and lightweight design over outright speed.

“I think it’s moving in the guidelines of where Lamborghini want to be, which is instead of putting more and more power in the car, it’s getting the power-to-weight ratio down so the car weighs less,” said Mr Smith.

“And it’s in line with where Lamborghini wants to be with carbon technology. I believe it’s a very exciting car, it’s a super quick car. I’ve seen all the stat tests of the pre-production car and it’s a very, very fast car.”

Powered by the Gallardo LP570-4’s 570bhp (419kW) 5.2-litre V10, the Sesto Elemento’s power-to-weight ratio is just 1.75kg/hp, helping it sprint from 0-100km/h in a claimed 2.5 seconds.

The Sesto Elemento – Italian for sixth element, a reference to carbon’s position in the periodic table – achieves light weight due to the extensive use of carbon-fibre in its construction, including a forged carbon-fibre composite monocoque.

Lamborghini, which claims “international leadership in composite materials technologies”, says the Sesto Elemento is the first super sports car to weigh less than 1000kg since its carbon-fibre Countach Evoluzione prototype of 1986.

Mr Winkelmann said customer demand had prompted the company to put the Sesto Elemento into production.

“The excellent feedback and the numerous requests we’ve had from our customers have really convinced us to embark on the challenge of producing a vehicle with unique characteristics.

“We are proud that what a year ago was just a ‘technology demonstrator’ of future super sports cars, even though in working order, will become a small series reality.”

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