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British sports car start-up Elemental Cars unveils RP1 lightweight racer


June 23, 2014

Elemental Car has unveiled its new RP1 two-seat racer

Elemental Car has unveiled its new RP1 two-seat racer

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Having teased the the RP1 recently, Elemental has now taken the covers off its debut car. In addition to a host of images showing an open-topped broad-shouldered racer, Elemental has also provided more details. The RP1 is highly tuneable and lightweight, with a road-hugging profile and aerodynamics.

Gizmag featured the RP1 when it was announced, with a handful of photos that hinted at what was in store. The new images show the car's two-seater cockpit, muscular look and tapered curves. In designing the RP1, one of Elemental's aims was to ensure it was easily configurable.

"One of the core guiding principles behind the RP1, was to enable someone to drive across country to their track of choice, quickly adjust the vehicle dynamics to their requirements, drive to their limit, unencumbered by a road-going set-up and then adjust everything easily back for the drive home," the firm says in a press release.

Accordingly, the chassis has been designed to provide ease of access to the car's innards, and Elemental says that its possible for "one person [to] make any adjustment they need, without assistance, with just a couple of spanners and an Allen key."

Elemental says its production development vehicle is powered by a Ford 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that kicks out 280 bhp. The company believes the RP1 will hit a top speed of over 155 mph (250 km/h), but says it has yet to confirm that in practice. The engine is longitudinally mounted and paired with a paddle-shifting Hewland 6-speed sequential gearbox.

The car's dash-panel wraps around the driver and passenger. As well as the engine start button and a multi-function dash display, a variety of custom dash options are available, including G-load sensors, data logging and a means of monitoring powertrain variables. The car has halogen projector headlights, while the indicators, brakes, tail lights and daytime running lamps are all LEDs.

Elemental has also announced that it intends to build a limited number of GT-Cup-spec versions of the RP1, in time for the 2015 racing season. With a length of 3,740 mm (147 in) and a width of 1,775 mm (70 in), the RP1 GT is not small. It has a wheelbase of 2,525 mm (99 in) and Pro Race wheels with Yokohama tires.

The car features subframe-mounted, long arm, double wishbone suspension with Eibach springs on Nitron dampers at both the front and rear. Braking is provided by way of Caparo AP four pot calipers on 280 mm (11 in) vented floating discs.

The Elemental RP1 will be revealed to the public for the first time at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend.

Source: Elemental Cars

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds. All articles by Stu Robarts

ANOTHER glorified track-day car with NO WINDSCREEN!

Who on earth is going to buy a "road going" car that necessitates wearing goggles and/or a helmet just to keep from being blinded within the first five minutes?

Keith Reeder

I think that is really neat. One would not have to have it transported to the track, just drive it there.


@ Keith Reeder

Why do you see wearing eye protection such a burden?


I'm with B.W.G. - My little white-haired mother HATES helmets or goggles, won't ride pillion for that reason. She says God enabled people to invent windscreens so we should use them. Seriously though, would a fold-down panel holding screen and wipers be so impossible? It would assist a lot in day-to-day use.

The Skud

P.S. - I suggested a fold-down panel, but studying the pix again, why not an easy remove panel that would store in the pits till needed for the drive home? Plug-unplug electrical connections are simple.

The Skud

With a full helmet, people might think you are The Stig (from Top Gear UK) going to work.


The intro talks of "lightweight" & "aerodynamics". So I read the piece to see if any breakthrough in either was forthcoming. I wasted my time because no curb weight or drag was given. Please stop teasing me.

Don Duncan

"Why do you see wearing eye protection such a burden?"

I don't see it as a burden, but I do see it as being a pointlessly unnecessary inconvenience for a road car.

On a motorbike or a track day car, needing to wear eye protection is a perfectly reasonable expectation (although I wouldn't ride a motorbike without a decent screen either), but if I'm driving a ROAD car I expect some degree of the convenience that the use of road-going cars implies: I'd be unable to pop across town to the shops for a pint of milk without risking eye injury, if for whatever reason I'd misplaced my goggles - how "convenient" is that?

The lack of a windscreen on this kind of vehicle is a pointless "style over content" cosmetic decision: it brings NO practical benefits (I don't believe for a second that there's a worthwhile aerodynamic advantage) and potentially significant disadvantages.

But - if we ARE going to buy into the aerodynamics argument - then to quote James May:

"There's no point ruthlessly minimalising a car in the name of high speed and then sticking my head, with its drag-inducing ears and non-laminar eyebrows, directly into the slipstream".


Keith Reeder

@ Keith Reeder I never had a problem keeping track of my eye protection when riding a motorcycle year round. Why do you want a screen (windshield on this side of the pond) on a bike?

Because even fool that would drive a windshieldless car without eye protection head produces less drag the the windshield would.

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