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British start-up to launch high-performance lightweight racer at Goodwood


June 3, 2014

British motorsports start-up Elemental Cars has released initial details and images of its debut car, the RP1

British motorsports start-up Elemental Cars has released initial details and images of its debut car, the RP1

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A British start-up has announced its intention to release a high-performance road-legal track car. Elemental Cars is based out of Surrey and comprises an experienced team from the motorsport industry. Its debut vehicle, the RP1, is a two-seat racer aimed at delivering performance and configurability.

Elemental Cars was founded by John Begley, who has previously designed the chassis, suspension and aerodynamics of Nissan and Triple Eight touring cars, worked on mechanical and aerodynamic development for the McLaren F1 team, and worked on the design for the McLaren Mercedes SLR, 12C and P1 cars. Begley explains on the Elemental website that the RP1 was borne of his frustration in looking for something he could take out on the track.

"When I was thinking of buying a track-day and competition car, having looked extensively and driven a number of existing cars, I realized that each one was compromised in some way," he says. "From the difficulty of set-up to the detailed design, they were simply not as good as they could be. I believed I could do better."

A top view of the RP1

Begley pulled together a team of friends and colleagues with a view to creating a lightweight, two-seater track car with a focus on performance and easily-adjustable settings. The project quickly developed so as to incorporate other material and design features and to make the RP1 road-legal.

"For me, it’s about carefully thought-out design, working with Motorsport development principles and having a small team with the drive to make a car without compromise," says Begley. "A car that can be easily configured by the driver for their driving style and the driving environment. A car that brings modern motorsport thinking and materials to the widest possible audience."

The RP1 kicks out 280 bhp from a race-tuned 2-liter Ford Ecoboost engine. It has a 6-speed sequential racing gearbox and a carbon composite "structural tub" in which the driver sits in a "feet up" Formula One style driving position. An on-board system provides support for paddle-shift gears, traction control, data-logging, camera integration, driver-defined steering wheel functions and vehicle diagnostics.

The Elemental RP1 will be shown off to the public for the first time at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, which will take place at the end of this month. Elemental Car is planning to release more information and images immediately prior to festival.

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

Looks OK from the small amount of photos, but how is entry and exit if you are sitting F1 style? Would a buyer need separate insurance or could they get away with paying a reasonable cost for (very) occasional track days? Unfortunately the small sporty road/track car business in general is finding it hard to fight the 'big guys'

The Skud

Specs sounds promising, but with being so ugly they don't dare to show it I feel less hopeful :-)

Also isn't they going for a rather small and crowded market. I'd think something a little more road focused should have a broader appeal.

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