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Elemental previews RP-1, a 992-lb track car to rival Ariel Atom

British startup aims to begin producing two-seat street-legal track car in 2015.

British startup Elemental Cars has previewed a new high-performance street-legal track car that aims to take on the Ariel Atom and KTM X-Bow.

The RP-1 is an open-top two-seater built upon a carbon-fiber structural tub, which places the driver in an F1-style "feet up" driving position. The composite construction is maintained throughout the GT-inspired body and interior components, contributing to an estimated weight around 450 kg (~992 lbs).

Power is provided by a mid-mounted 2.0-liter Ford EcoBoost engine, tuned to produce 280 horsepower. The figures result in an impressive 500 hp/ton power-to-weight ratio.

"Our original brief was to build a lightweight, two-seater, track car with exceptional performance and easily adjustable dynamics," says Elemental technical director John Begley. "But once we had begun to design it, we realised we could incorporate some major material and design advances and make the car not only track-capable but road legal."

If the company produces the concept as promised, and if it actually hits the weight targets, the RP-1 will be more than 350 pounds lighter than the Atom and 750 pounds below the X-Bow.

The car is scheduled to be formally revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month, with production kicking off in the UK as early as next year.

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