The British-built, road-legal Elemental RP1 has recorded a 0-60mph time of 2.7sec, but its makers believe that it could hit the target in as little as 2.5sec in optimised conditions, making it as quick over the benchmark sprint as a Bugatti Veyron.
Prior to giving the latest version of the RP1 its public debut at Goodwood, the firm tested its 620kg sports car, which is built around an innovative carbonfibre and aluminium tub and powered by a 280bhp version of Ford’s 2.0-litre Ecoboost engine, at the Longcross test track in Surrey. The former military venue is used for shaking down and photographing cars but is not recognised as a performance test venue.
“We didn’t have a professional driver, the tyres were worn and the road surface was dirty,” said Elemental technical director John Begley. “The data suggests that there’s a lot more to come from the car, but to be honest we’re not chasing straight-line times. It’s nice to know we’re quick, but our focus is on developing a car that is fun to drive.”
The 2.7sec 0-60mph time was set using a new launch control system that has been developed in-house by Elemental. With the car in Race mode, the ECU controls wheelspin and automatically changes the first three gears in order to optimise traction.
The RP1 is on sale now, priced from just under £100,000, with the first two cars having already been allocated to customers. A standard Veyron costs about £850,000 before taxes, and has recently been replaced by the £2 million Chiron.