The first prototype of the Elemental Rp1 was created by . It's come a long way since that prototype. The engineers made multiple improvements to the design before the car could run up the hill at Goodwood, and both engine variants spent long hours on the track to make sure the Rp1 delivers the punch you'd expect for the money. They even came up with a windshield as an option. Luxury!
But with or without the extra glass, what makes the standard Rp1 stand out from the crowd is that its a ground effect car built around a carbon composite tub coupled with their in-house developed aluminum foam cored floors and bulkheads, all built to FIA specs. That makes it super rigid, light as a feather and stick to corners despite its minimalist looks. With its integrated underfloor aerodynamics, the Rp1 produces 880 lbs. of downforce at 150mph without any upperbody wings. But that wasn't enough.
A track-only McLaren P1 GTR produces 1455lbs. of total downforce at 150mph. Lanzante says that their yet again road legal LM versions should have 40 percent more, which puts it roughly at 2040 lbs.
Elemental decided not to spend all the money in the world by renting wind tunnels and building one-off parts, but rather use the most advanced digital modeling software from London Computational Solutions. By optimizing the rear diffuser and adding a rear wing that works with it, LCS says the Rp1 can now have 2,205 lbs. of downforce at 150 mph. Pair that with a curb weight of 1278 lbs and 320 horsepower, and fun is guaranteed.
The market might be full of very capable road-legal track cars nowadays, but Elemental believes their flexibility and the car's performance will satisfy many.
As a base, the Rp1 is a road legal two-seater ground effect car with a unique seating position, an adjustable pushrod suspension, two storage bins and a heater. Without the windshield option, the lightest version comes with a 180 horsepower 1.0 Ecoboost three cylinder. On the other side of the scale, there's the 2.0 with 380 horsepower, and now, the option of the high downforce kit. What wasn't slow as a basic prototype will certainly be borderline crazy with that upgrade.
With the second production Rp1 getting ready for its 2017 delivery, Elemental is planning to sell "up to 40" cars a year.
Good luck trying to keep up with any of them in the corners.