Elemental RP1: an Ecoboost Track Attack Special

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We’re big fans of Ford’s lineup of Ecoboost-equipped turbo cars here at Gas 2 – but we’re even bigger fans of the popular Ford Ecoboost engines, themselves. Indeed an “Ecoboost Cougar” gets mentioned about once a month around here, as does “Ecoboost Ranger” and, every now and then, “Ecoboost Fox-body”. It seems like the guys at British trackday startup, Elemental, share the same kind of warm and fuzzy love for the pint-sized Ford Ecoboost engines that we do … except, you know, they have an engineering budget.

Meet the first fruits of that budget, then: the Elemental RP1.

Powered by a 2.0 liter Ford Ecoboost engine coaxed into producing some 280 HP, the broad-shouldered, ultra-lightweight Elemental RP1 can rocket to 60 quicker than any of Ford’s own factory hot rods – and the RP1’s makers claim it’ll keep pulling strong all the way to the car’s 155 MPH top speed.

With performance figures like that, it’s easy to dismiss the Elemental RP1 as another trackday toy with no real-world application. It’s makers wanted it to be more than that, however, and designed its ride and handling characteristics to suit any given situation. “One of the core guiding principles behind the RP1, was to enable someone to drive across country to their track of choice, quickly adjust the vehicle dynamics to their requirements, drive to their limit, unencumbered by a road-going set-up and then adjust everything easily back for the drive home,” said the company, in the RP1’s press release. To that end, the RP1 is fitted with a fully adjustable double-wishbone suspension, Eibach springs on Nitron dampers front and rear, and a Caparo AP four piston brake system with 11″ rotors.

With a low-emission, highly efficient engine making as much (or more!) power than the old-school V8s and a chassis that could, in theory, eliminate the need for a large truck and trailer rig to haul the car to racetracks, the RP1’s green contribution to the gentleman racing set might be the only thing more impressive than its performance. What do you guys think? Is this thing worth drooling over, or should we just buy Caterhams?

 

Source | Photos: Elemental, via Gizmag.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.