Lamborghini spearhead weight reduction program with carbon fibre show car
Compare the specs of Lamborghini’s Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera, launched at the Geneva Show last March, and the new Sesto Elemento and you’d be forgiven for thinking this is just a rebodied Gallardo show car. 570 bhp in a 4-wheel drive chassis sounds identical. Look at the weight difference though and you’ll realise why Lambo are proudly presenting this show car as a ground-breaking prototype. The Superleggera was already the lightest car in the range at 1340 kgs (dry weight), but this Sesto Elemento comes in under the 1000 kegs mark. They had to chuck out all sorts of cabin trim and superfluous gizmos and build it almost entirely in carbon fibre to reach 999 kgs. The result is that Lambo claim a 0 to 100 km/h (0-62mph) time of only 2.5 secs compared to the Superleggera’s 3.4 seconds – What a difference weight, or lack of it makes. It’s curious, and very welcome, to see the manufacturers vying to produce lighter cars at last, when until recently, all cars seemed to get heavier as the model cycles progressed. It goes without saying that power to weight ratio increases substantially and performance per unit of energy consumed is on the up.
The Sesto Elemento (Sixth Element) is really a technology demonstrator though, championing Lambo’s advance in carbon fibre moulding and their ability to blend it with plastics to give both rigidity and quality finish at low weight. It points to the future and also hints at the Murcielago replacement that must surely be waiting around the next bend. Let Lamborghini talk you through the finer points of the technology by reading on…