Elemental Rp1"/> Elemental Rp1 - Carzreviewz

Elemental Rp1

Elemental Rp1

Elemental RP1 front view

Elemental RP1 front view

DEVELOPMENT of the Elemental Rp1, a new lightweight track-biased road car from the Surrey maker, is in its final stages. The Rp1 project began eight years ago, as the brainchild of former McLaren engineers and Ford designers. Their brief was to create something to rival the likes of the Lotus Elise and Ariel Atom.

 

Elemental RP1 side angle view

Elemental RP1 side angle view

“It started as an afterhours project,” said design manager Guy Colborne. “Initially we were only going to build one car, possibly two, for us to use personally, but it soon attracted interest. Production costs started to fall and tooling became more accessible.” The name stands for Race Project 1, with the car based around an exposed lightweight carbon-composite and aluminium tub. All the body panels are made from carbon fibre, with a glass fibre body optional.

Elemental RP1 (5)

Following final tweaks for production models, the Elemental Rp1 should weigh less than 600kg – around 300kg lighter than a Lotus Elise. It begins to generate downforce at 60mph, while 200kg of downforce is generated at 100mph. Powering the car is a Ford-sourced 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine with 280bhp and 440Nm of torque – enough for 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds. Buyers will also be offered a smaller 1.0-litre EcoBoost, developing between 160bhp and 180bhp. Both will be linked to a six-speed sequential box operated via steering wheel paddles. Production will start in October and prices are yet to be confirmed, but technical director John Begley told us it will cost between a £37,200 Elise and a £110,000 BAC Mono. Given the extensive use of carbon fibre, expect a final figure around the £60,000 mark.

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