I was there back in 2010 when Automobili Lamborghini SpA unveiled the amazing looking Sesto Elemento at the Paris Motor Show, at that moment striktly a design concept to show just what Lamborghini could do with carbon fiber, a car with 570 horsepower weighing in at less than 1,000 kg ... the result was breathtaking, both in performance (the Sesto Elemento prototype was fully drivable) and it sheer looks boasting a clear carbon fiber satin finish combined with bright red details.
Many customers asked about the Sesto Elemento, and in the end Lamborghini revealed they would build 20 units of the Sesto Elemento ... but as a track only car as it would not be able to get this impressive concept street legal to be used on public roads.
When the first 1/18 scale model of the Sesto Elemento was available from MR I naturally purchased one, being a sealed resin model didn't worry me too much as I was keen to be able to admire this magnificent Lamborghini ... that was June 2011, and it took a lot of time for other manufacturers to offer this 'Sixth Element' too, first up was a cheap but relatively nice R/C model from DX in July 2012 ... but now we can get hold of a beautiful 1/18 model made by AutoArt, only downside: they released it in the Signature series, which means it is a rather expensive model in the end.
On the other hand the AutoArt made 1/18 Lamborghini Sesto Elemento does open up, the doors open and the entire rear section can be removed, just like on the real car ... only the front section is fixed on this scale model while in real life it too can be removed.
So back in June 2011 it took a little over €300 to obtain the MR made 1/18 Sesto Elemento ... fast forward to March 2014 and you'll have to fork out about €240 for the new AutoArt release while the original carbon fiber finished MR edition will be between €350 and €400 ... if you can find one for sale. Just don't get one of those 'phantasy' shades MR has become famous for ... the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento is built in this satin clear carbon fiber finish only, there are no white, orange or pink Sesto Elemento ... they only exist from MR.
So is the AutoArt 1/18 Sesto Elemento worth the high asking price you might wonder? Yes it is if you ask me, in fact the only other 1/18 model of the Sesto Elemento that would compete with the new AutoArt is made by FrontiArt ... they also offer an 'Full Open' model that is fixed on a stunning plinth ... but the FrontiArt model costs €469, that's almost double the price of the AutoArt model, and no, the FrontiArt isn't twice as good.
Onto the details now, has AutoArt done their homework and created a perfectly scaled down replica of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento ... well ... almost to be honest, let me explain this further:
The real Lamborghini Sesto Elemento has been going through some development since the original concept was shown in Paris back in 2010, so it is hard for any diecast manufacturer to create a 100% perfect model in the end ... so first the good news:
The carbon fiber weave on the wheels is stunning, the central locking screw is spot on and the Raging Bull crest on the center is near perfect too, the carbon ceramic disk brakes are beautiful and those bright red brake calipers with black Lamborghini script look real, on the real car there is a red script around the central locking screw, this isn't present on the AutoArt model and while the thread on the tires does look better on the AutoArt compared to the MR for instance, it would be nice if there would a Pirelli PZERO Corsa script in the side walls.
Around the back AutoArt went for the red finished engine parts just like on the original 2010 prototype, later on this cover was finished in black on the factory demonstrator Sesto Elemento ... I prefer the red one in fact, so well done AutoArt ... also the rear bumper, or at least the carbon fiber 'fin' that has to double as a bumper, looks absolutely stunning with the carbon fiber finish, just like the frame behind the V10 engine.
While looking at the engine it is obvious AutoArt went for a more subtle finish compared to the FrontiArt mode ... and the AutoArt version is closer to the real deal in fact ... only those red finished covers on both cylinder banks don't seem right to me, I remember them being black with silver scripting on the concept car. Also note the black springs on the dampers at the rear ... on the 2010 concept car these were red anodized.
On the other hand the carbon fiber finish of the exhaust silencers looks great on this AutoArt model, the taillights look spot on and the red Lamborghini script at the rear is simply perfect ... as are those triangular exhaust pipes in their carbon fiber dress that come through the engine cover.
Let's take a look at the interior ... as you might know the Sesto Elemento does not come with traditional seats, instead the shape of the seats is integrated into the forged composite tub, red covered pads are mounted straight onto these fixed sections while the pedals and dashboard pod can be adjusted when needed. AutoArt really made a very, very nice interior, the red is bright and nice, the seat belts with their Raging Bull crest and Italian tricolor are just the icing on the cake ... I love them.
The very special steering wheel holds all the details seen on the real car and those large, red gear levers are perfect looking too, as is the dashboard pod itself and that 'floating' central console and carbon fiber frame that doubles as the dashboard ... it all looks real to me. However there are at least two details that caught my eye as being different.
For one I haven't seen a Sesto Elemento yet with padding on the door itself, there is a red cloth hook to pull on so you can close the door, but both this AutoArt and the FrontiArt model have a red padded section on the door too ... that isn't seen on the concept nor on the Pebble Beach show car.
The second detail I really liked on the 2010 concept was the fact they put a nice red Sesto Elemento sign on the interior, near the front of the seat on the visible forged composite uprise Lamborghini but their stylish '6th Element' sign ... now I have to admit it isn't there on the Sesto Elemento at Pebble Beach in August 2012, but still I would have loved this model even more if AutoArt would have put it on there.
So back to the exterior, keep in mind the Sesto Elemento has a satin gloss, visible carbon fiber bodywork, which isn't easy to recreate in 1/18 scale ... MR actually did a very decent job on their resin model, the FrontiArt on the other hand looks too coarse, their carbon fiber isn't scaled down enough to look right ... for the Sesto Elemento AutoArt works with 'tampon printing' to recreate the carbon fiber weave ... but how does the result look?
It looks amazing ... from a distance you hardly notice the carbon fiber weave, the Sesto Elemento looks dark grey, just like on the real car, but up close you notice the intricate weave that has been recreated very nicely by AutoArt.
I already mentioned the taillights being almost real, well rest assured the headlights are perfect too, they look just like on the real car and the Lamborghini Raging Crest on the front section isn't any different ... just perfect.
There is however one small detail missing on this AutoArt model ... on the real Lamborghini Sesto Elemento those large front and rear sections are actually 'bolted on' and they used red screws to keep them in place ... there is no sign of screws on this AutoArt model, let alone them being red, same with the door panel in fact, the 2010 concept car showed the carbon fiber inner door panel being fixed onto the door with red screws too ... these are missing on the AutoArt model too.
Bottom line: is this 1/18 Lamborghini Sesto Elemento by AutoArt worth the high asking price? YES, I know it is a lot of money, and I didn't buy one right away either ... I already owned the MR model so I could admire a large scale Sesto Elemento for year now, on the other hand the FrontiArt Full Open version had some serious errors and is just too expensive if you ask me ... so at €299 the AutoArt version is a perfect alternative ... add the additional bonus of a numbered certificate and you just shouldn't pass up this absolutely stunning scale model of the very rare Lamborghini Sesto Elemento.
Photos © LAMBOdiecast