Hopefully we hear more about it after the Festival of Speed debut.
Fresh-faced British sports car firms have a very fickle nature when it comes to sustaining themselves. Either they fine a lucrative enough niche audience and flourish, as Zenos and David Brown Automotive have demonstrated, or they fade into obscurity as shown by...well, almost every car company we listed in this article we did a while back on the Noble M600. As a result, it's kinda hard to figure out which camp the new kid on the block that is Elemental will slot into - though the early signs are quite promising, to say the least.
If the name 'Elemental' - or of its inaugural road car project, the 'Rp1' - sound vaguely familiar to you, that's because we've covered them before. However, back then, the car was more a presentation pitch than a fully functioning vehicle - now, after fours years of development work in the premises of a farm and on countless race tracks across the UK, Elemental is finally ready to show off the production-spec Rp1 in public for the very first time. Considering the Elemental "factory" is less than an hour's drive away from the Goodwood Estate, it's of no surprise that the latest in a long line of British independent sports car makers is using this year's Festival of Speed is the launching pad for its brand new two-seater sports car.
Like we said earlier, it's still unknown exactly what lies in store for Elemental, but we really want the Rp1 to succeed. For starters, it's effin' fast - with just 1,278 lbs to lug about in its most potent 320-hp guise, the RP1 can rocket its way to 60 mph from rest in just 2.8 seconds, reach the 100 mph mark 3.6 seconds later and top out at 165 mph, and even the 180-hp, 1.0-liter three-cylinder model can post acceleration numbers that'll shame a Lexus LFA. Better still, the Rp1 has more than just raw pace to help it stand out from the crowd, with the quirky bodywork shrouding an innovative and extremely light carbon tub that is so structurally sound and strong that Elemental claims the tub is rigid enough to comply with the FIA's stringent rigidity standards.
Put simply, it's a really clever piece of kit, and certainly offers something different. Though similar in concept to the Ariel Atom-based Rezvani Beast, the Rp1's far different in its execution, and you really need to give the engineers at Elemental the credit they deserve for building a brand new, niche-appeal sports car from the ground up. The only downside we can find with the Rp1 is that it will likely never come to the United States - and if it does, this track-ready two-seater will almost certainly retail for somewhere well over the $100,000 mark. That being said, everyone who's driven the Elemental prototype has had really encouraging things to say about the car, and we'd really love to find out if the Rp1 is worth every penny.