Supercar Revival: The Sesto Elemento
After I finished playing Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered this week, I found myself asking all sorts of questions. The most dire being: What happened to the supercars of the 2000s? When car enthusiast such as myself think about “Forgotten Motors”, we tend to think about classic gems like Lancias and Ferraris. Yet we seem to glance over an important period of motoring history. The 2000’s. Sure, these cars aren’t old by any means necessary, nor are they truly “classics”, but it seems like these incredible motors are simply forgotten about. They are in a grey-zone for enthusiasts. Not quite fresh and cool, but not yet antiquated either.
Seriously, when was the last time you heard someone mention the name Noble M600 or Mercedes SL65 Black Series? This decade was simply revolutionary for cars and I think it’s time to bring back our memories of these insane pieces of automotive history. With that being said, let’s talk about one of my all time favorite cars and easily one of the most impressive cars to ever leave the gates of Sant’Agata Bolognese, the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento.
The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento is the quintessential Lamborghini. It’s loud, aggressive, blistering, badass, and overwhelmingly wild. The name ‘Sesto Elemento’ is really not that complex by any means. See, Sesto Elemento translated to English simply means ‘Sixth Element’, which is referring to carbon and its six protons. With a name like that, you’d expect this car to be made purely out of some sort of carbon product… and, well it is. This beast of a machine is pretty much all carbon fiber. It has no dashboard, its seats are stuck directly on to the chassis, its windows are plastic, and it weighs an astounding 999 Kg or 1.1 tons. This car is literally half the weight of my ’09 Mini. Let me repeat that for you: this V10-powered stripped Gallardo, that produces 510 horses and almost 400 lb-ft of torque, weighs HALF that of a 2009 Mini Cooper S. If that doesn’t get your attention, I really don’t know what will.
The Sesto Elemento was so quick and mind numbingly agile on the track, it set a lap time of 1 minute and 14 seconds on the Top Gear Test Track, only .2 seconds slower than the Pagani Huayra making it the second fastest car to ever travel around the track at the time. It’s capable of hitting 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds flat, which is as impressive today as it was at the time of release. Did I mention that this car also has exhaust pipes built into its spoiler? No, really, take a look at this video thanks to the lads at Lamborghini Newport Beach. It may be the coolest exhaust design I have ever seen. Call me partial, but it speaks for itself.
All in all, the Sesto Elemento is one of the fastest and most exclusive cars Lamborghini has ever produced. Only 20 of these monsters were constructed and with a price tag of $2.2 million dollars in 2012 (the last year it was produced), only the world’s wealthiest elite could enter. Additionally, this car isn’t even street legal. According to many sources, the Sesto Elemento was too fast to be made street legal and was therefore Lamborghini’s first non-street legal car, making it all the more rare.
In terms of pop-culture presence, the Sesto Elemento has been featured in numerous video games like Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010), Forza 4 (2011), and Forza Horizon (2012), but has only been featured in one single movie: Need For Speed (2014). To the uninitiated, I highly recommend giving it a watch; it’s a fantastic racing movie and one of Aaron Paul’s best performances (unbiased opinions, I swear). Sure, it’s not a film you want to dissect in your screenwriting class because of the dialogue, and it’s certainly not going to be used by cinematography professors, but it sure is flat out entertaining. Better yet, the Sesto Elemento is the “villain car”, which once again in my totally unbiased opinion, beats any Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Audi, or Bentley or other Bond-villain archetype vehicle.
When we look back at this incredible machine, it’s easy to see exactly what I’m talking about with regards to the cars from the 2000’s. Supercars come and go. It’s rare that a car captures society’s attention for more than a few weeks nowadays, and unfortunately, the Sesto Elemento was another one of those cars. It entered the stage and was quickly exported off by another wave of high tech, over designed, 200 MPH machines. It’s a shame that so many unique and interesting cars are given this same treatment, but alas, that’s just the way the automotive world works.
Only two things will allow more appreciation for cars such as the Sesto Elemento: the impending pop of the supercar bubble we are currently in, or the gradual passing of time before combustion motors are banned from society. Until then, time will tell.