Considering Ben Collins has retired/been fired from his role as the Stig on Top Gear UK, it was only appropriate that the Caterham Superlight R500 would see its eventual end as well. Known for making its rounds at the hands of the Stig on Top Gear and as Top Gear’s 2008 Car of the Year, the R500 will be making its last public appearance at the Marks & Spencers store at the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, UK between December 6th and 12th.
Caterham Cars’ marketing manager, James Drake said: “The white and orange R500 has already claimed its place in motoring history. It’s worked hard since the new R500 was launched in 2008 and we feel it’s now time to let it have a rest. It will still be available as a static display car, but its hard driving days are over."
Like a retired police officer volunteering as a DARE representative, the Caterham Superlight R500 will now fill its days with promotional work, including promoting the launch of the remote control versions of the real vehicle. Priced at £19.50, these remote controlled R500s will come in the Stig’s color scheme of white with orange stripes, as well as a red version with a white stripe. Do we smell a perfect Christmas present?
It seems Top Gear the magazine and Top Gear the TV show have split their Car of the Year decisions. The magazine chose the the Dodge Challenger as its COTY (CORRECTION:Muscle Car of the Year), while the Clarkson, Hammond and May are sticking by the Caterham Superlight R500 . The two cars are alike in that they are both retro fun, but accomplish it in two very different ways.
The Challenger is brute fun (you’ll see in our upcoming review.) Shortcomings that arise from a muscle car built on a full-size car chassis are made up for with a huge engine and badass personality.
The Caterham is the never-say-die spirit of the Lotus 7. Where the Challenger uses a big Hemi V8 to get its speed, the Superlight R500 stays true to its name and uses its svelte 1100 lbs weight (500kg) to give it speed. It also helps that its 2.0-liter Ford-sourced engine is rated at 263 hp. 0 to 60 times are in the sub-three second range.
After Caterham revealed the first teaser of the R500 Superlight here are the first official images and informations about the 500 kilos supercar.
The R500 Superlight is powered by a 2.0 liters Ford Duratec engine that delivers a maximum power of 263 hp at 8500 rpm. It will be offered as a standard option with a six-speed manual transmission and as an option with a sequential Quaife 6. Rumors say the 0-60 mph sprint will be made in under 3 seconds.
The R500 gets the CSR nose, aero wishbones, 13-inch anthracite wheels and clear lens tailamps. Pricing will start from 46.000 euro.