January 15, 2015 3 min read

The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento us not only a stunning vehicle it is a limited edition lightweight vehicle that was designed with carbon fiber. It should be known that the history of this vehicle using unique composite materials is not something new. In 1982, Giulio Alfieri who was the then GM of Nuova Automobili Lamborghini found that the company would benefit from European funding by the launching and design of an experimental vehicle composed of composite materials. He would go on to hire Rosario Vizzini, an engineer who worked as an aeronautical engineer for Alenia and as a consultant for Boeing during the construction of the drift for the B-767 carbon fiber. In the early months of 1983, Vizzini began the launch of the Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic frame for the newly designed Lamborghini Countach, which would ultimately never be presented. Some years later, the company would launch a carbon fiber designed variant under the name of the "Sesto Elemento" concept. With this one design, the Italian manufacturer would show the world the viability of a unique carbon fiber design.

In this case, the numbers would speak for themselves. The Sesto Elemento would take its unique name from the periodic table of elements in which carbon is found to be the 6th element. By using a carbon fiber element in the suspension and bodywork, the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento would reduce its overall weight by an outstanding 30% as compared to the Gallardo. What is more impressive about this supercar is the fact that the design was tasked with the simple aim of improving performance. The ultimate goal of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento was to continue with the overall structure of the Lamborghini with a lighter and smaller engine.

The Lamborghini carbon fiber supercar would be the ultimate showcase for the CFRP technology, in which a great deal of the vehicle was built with this material including the crash boxes, front chassis, passenger monologue cell, rims, propeller shaft even the main components of the suspension. The result of all of this work would result in a curbed weight of an incredible 999 kg. This is an incredible weight as the car would glide through life with all-wheel drive and a powerful V10 engine.

The overall output of the Sesto Elemento was rated at an impressive 570 hp, an acceleration speed of 2.5 seconds, a power to weight ratio of 1.75 kg per hp and an outstanding top speed of 300 km/h. Considering the weight of the car, it is easy to assume that it consumes much less gas as opposed to heavier cars of this class. Other goals of using CFRP in this Lamborghini were the reduced emission from lower fuel consumption and CO2. This was in addition to creating an optimal power to weight ratio.

The designers were inspired with a minimalistic approach with the interior of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento. The interior also makes great use of the material while duly noting the forged composite nacelle that can be found attached to the monocoque carbon fiber structure. You will not even find seat frames as the seat cushions are directly attached to the monohull, instead of adjusting the seat, the driver will adjust the pedals and steering wheel. The console features three simple piezoelectric buttons which include start engine, gear reverse and allow lights. The gorgeous carbon fiber takes center stage in this design and is not hidden.

The rear overhang that is found in the Sesto Elemento is rather short and will meet the requirements set forth by the optimal aerodynamics. The spoiler features near-perfect dimensions and is perfectly aligned to the diffuser with an extra defector that can be found in the center of the rear part which is going to help maximize the offset which is due to extreme curves and features directional stability at higher speeds. The pyrosic exhaust outlets are shaped in an upward manner and pass through the engine hood. Included are ten hexagonal openings as well as two awnings near the rear of the roof which help to supply a steady stream of air to the powerful V10.

We expect to see carbon fiber become much more affordable due to a new and improved manufacturing process which makes it much more automated and faster. With this in play, we can expect a major expansion in the construction of carbon fiber. The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento has set the bar in showing us exactly what a true supercar can look and feel like with lightweight construction and the ultimate in driving performance.

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