There is no sillier joy than taking a track car out of its natural habitat and onto the road. Sure, it can be tricky—comfort items tend to be left off for go-fast reasons. But as CarThrottle discovered, you can daily drive a bare-bones track beast like it’s any other car and survive—and maybe even enjoy yourself.
This is the Elemental RP1—an ultralight track-focused car with “mental” right there in the name. It has a sequential gearbox and a Ford EcoBoost engine that produces 330 brake horsepower. The whole package goes from 0 to 60 in just under 2.7 seconds.
Like many other trackday specials, you can register the Elemental for road use. Mostly, this is meant to let you drive to the track and back, but CarThrottle wanted to see how the bare-bones open-cockpit car would do for more mundane situations.
So, they took it on a 500-mile road trip to get to Le Mans, taking detours along the way to test it out on city roads and even gravel winery paths.
There are some drawbacks. Storage is minimal. The carbon fiber seats will roast your thighs even worse than leather does. Don’t expect your good hair day to survive getting crammed in a helmet. Exposed skin gets a wicked wind- and sun-burn from the lack of shelter. Racing-focused clutches that are meant for quick getaways aren’t the best for crawling in traffic, either.
But the sheer joy of putting the hammer down and driving away louder and faster than most other vehicles on the road can’t be beat. Who needs heavy sound deadening when the rest of the car is so fun?