HAMPSHIRE, U.K. – A niche British car builder is bringing Formula 1 standard aerodynamics to road-going sports cars without the need for heavy and visually challenging body wings.
The maker of the Elemental Rp1 claims it is capable of generating 880 lbs. (400 kg) of downforce at 150 mph (240 km/h) purely on aerodynamic design features underneath the car.
Elemental Motor says its 500-hp Rp1 has undergone extensive wind-tunnel testing and development and employs the latest in computational fluid dynamics techniques.
It says driving position and packaging are essential ingredients to the car, which uses a race-car-inspired floor that manages the flow of air from the front to generate downforce.
A front diffuser on the underside of the car channels the air outward behind the front wheels. Extending from behind the front diffuser to the rear axles is a completely flat floor, “conditioning” the airflow as it exits from underneath the car through the rear diffuser.
“The geometry of the aerodynamics has been designed so that we wouldn’t need to use any upper-body spoilers or wings, which add incremental weight and drag,” says John Begley, founder and technical director.
“The Rp1’s exterior shape is smooth and aerodynamic in design already but, coupled with the front splitter plus front and rear diffusers, we were able to apply the highly efficient ground-effect principles by engineering this complete system underneath the car.”
Elemental recently completed its first production-specification Rp1 at its new factory in Hambledon, Hampshire, with this landmark first car set to make its dynamic debut at this week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. The carbon-composite cars have a choice of powertrains in the shape of a Ford 2.0L tuned to produce 320 hp or 180-hp 1.0L turbocharged Ford Ecoboost engine.
Orders are being taken for the car priced at £77,250 ($110,875), excluding taxes, and deliveries to U.K. customers have begun.