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Hitting the Tonne: Groundbreaking Aerodynamics

July 2016

Elemental Rp1 surpasses 1000kg downforce target

 

 

Aerodynamic upgrades during testing and development sees Elemental Rp1 achieve a ground-breaking 1,000kg (2,205lbs) of downforce

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Elemental Motor Company Ltd, manufacturers of the highly innovative, high performance Rp1 road legal track car announce the latest results of its technical partnership with UK-based aerodynamics research group, London Computational Solutions (LCS) – reaching one-tonne of downforce at 150mph on the Rp1.

 

In keeping with Elemental’s desire to continually develop and refine the Rp1, the team have set about testing enhanced aerodynamics on its unique track car. In partnership with LCS, Elemental has used cutting-edge computer modelling software to test all aspects of the car’s aerodynamics package and the data generated has broken new ground in terms of downforce and ground-effect for a road car.

 

To achieve one-tonne of downforce, the Rp1 prototype model features further developments to the underfloor aero package and additional bodywork modifications, as well as tailored adjustments to the chassis and powertrain. These build on the already exceptional performance and dynamics of the Rp1 to offer a track car with capabilities far beyond anything seen before – already capable of generating 400kg of downforce at 150mph without any upperbody wings.

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Taking the production spec Rp1’s radical underfloor aerodynamics (the first of its kind seen on a production car) as a baseline, Elemental worked with LCS to dramatically refine and enhance the cars aerodynamic performance.

 

Ground-effect Aerodynamics:

LCS was able to exploit the unique and novel architecture of the RP1 with its longitudinal engine and gearbox providing design freedom for the aerodynamicist optimising the rear diffuser. LCS made the decision to add a rear wing carefully positioned to augment the power and efficiency of the rear diffuser to take the downforce level over the design target of 1000 kg (2,205 lbs) of downforce at 150 mph.

 

 

Exceptional Downforce:

 

Mark Fowler, Aerodynamics Director for Elemental, said: “ the Rp1 was designed from the outset to have integrated underfloor aerodynamics that has allowed us to access far greater usable road and track performance and downforce than previously thought possible.  Throughout the testing phases of the Rp1 development programme where we used Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), the MIRA Windtunnel and extensive road and track testing, it was obvious that the core aero elements of the car were working as expected to give exceptional downforce and cornering grip.

 

“However, we always believed that the aero package was open to further refinement and optimisation and we were fortunate to be able to work with LCS using the very latest tools and methodology to do this.”

 

Groundbreaking Aerodynamics:

Mark Taylor Founder and Managing Director, London Computational Solutions, said: “Using a combination of highly advanced SGI supercomputing technology and applying a novel and ground-breaking type of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) known as high-order spectral methods, we were able to simulate the aerodynamic behaviour of the car to far greater accuracy than has ever been achieved to date.

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“By taking advantage of this new methodology and the fact that the Rp1 was designed from the outset to use underfloor aerodynamics, we were able to investigate, model and analyse many different variants and options to a far greater fidelity and accuracy than has been done anywhere before. This methodology so accurately models airflow across the whole vehicle that we no longer need to use a Windtunnel to develop the car.  This truly is ground-breaking aerodynamics.”

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