Some automakers build super-luxury cars and nothing else (see: Bentley and Rolls-Royce ). These companies couldn’t care less if 99.9 percent of the world can’t afford their cars, they will just keep on building them. Well, Caterham is similar to Bentley in the fact that it builds nothing but cars designed to go really fast on a track and it has no issue asking you for tens of thousands of Pounds for said vehicles.
With the Superlight R500 slowly getting up there in age and the R300 just not cutting it for some racecar drivers, Caterham knew it needed something with a little more oomph. Well, it gave us a little sneak preview just a few weeks ago by releasing an unfamiliar sight: a “Supercharged” badge on the back end of a Caterham racecar.
To date, Caterham has been content with taking small displacement, naturally aspirated engines and turning them into racecar engines. This addition of a supercharger will be the first time that Caterham has ever used forced induction. Now, Caterham has chosen to let us in on this new, mold-breaking model, the Superlight R600.
To read all about the Superlight R600, click past the jump.
Caterham is one of those love-it-or-hate-it kinds of automakers that make cars that are fast but not necessarily user-friendly. In the UK, the Caterham lineup is vastly popular, but in the States, it only sells a small number of vehicles, via its Caterham USA arm, to folks looking to hit the tracks.
With the Caterham Seven -based R500 getting ready to see its final days of production, Caterham is now planning its successor. Evo had a short interview with Caterham’s CEO, Graham MacDonald, in regards to the future plans with the Seven and if you are good at reading between the lines, a huge announcement may have been slightly leaked.
Evo brought up the potential of using the SP/300.R’s 305-horsepower, supercharged 2.0-liter engine the Seven, which Caterham is committed to building for the foreseeable future. MacDonald responded with “Potentially, yes. I would love that, of course – especially if we took the next step and made it an R600.”
This would lead any warm-blooded human to the fact that the R600 is already on the tip of Caterham’s tongue and will likely see the light of day. MacDonald also addressed that installing the 2.0-liter would not be a straightforward process, as there are big cooling system issues that Caterham engineers would have to sort out, among other details.
With Caterham also looking to build more user-friendly vehicles – you know, ones that you can actually use on government-owned pavement – this R600 may even become that friendlier Caterham that ever traditional sports car company fears.
With its traditionally low prices and extreme performance, Caterham could really shake up the sports-car world, should it choose to build a more street-friendly R600 with the SP/300.R’s engine. Unfortunately, this is all purely speculation and reading deeply between the lines of a potentially ambiguous statement… But that’s what we do best! Additionally, the “Supercharged” teaser that Caterham released recently also lends a little validity to this potential scenario.
We’ll keep an eye out for any more announcements on the potential of the R600 and the possible use of that nasty 2.0-liter engine sitting in the Seven.
It is not a new concept that Caterham remains one of the most popular boutique sports cars in all of Europe, despite the fact that it only builds about 500 models each year. It is also not a shocker to know that England’s former boutique powerhouse, Lotus , has taken a huge hit in recent years, but still has an international presence.
Caterham’s flagship car, the Seven , is built with extreme care to keep the power-to-wight ratio as high as possible. This has worked so far, but Caterham needs to expand into other places, like the U.S., which only sees about 50 Caterham Sevens per year. Caterham is careful, though, and that’s what has made it the success it is today, so expansion needs to be carefully plotted out.
One thing that could help Caterham expand is to join forces with a like-minded car company to produce high-quality, lightweight sports cars that the American market would enjoy. One possibility is Lotus, which is sinking fast, but already offers up its lightweight bodies and chassis to other companies, like Hennessey , to build into lightweight monsters, so why not Caterham?
Combining the two could result in sweet profits for both, as Lotus could provide its lightweight chassis technology and its recognized name, and Caterham could provide its high-revving performance engine technology. With the Lotus name and body, and Caterham technology heading to the U.S., Caterham gains a stronger foothold in the U.S. and Lotus gets a chance to regain its presence in the states, all while sharing the cost and profits.
The Caterham Seven is a pretty cool sports car, but it’s a little outdated, so with the recent announcement of KTM’s next generation X-Bow, we knew Caterham would be following with a new model of their own. The new Caterham model will sit above the Seven in the line-up and will feature a roof and a more comfortable cabin, changes that are similar to the fixed roof and new doors of the future X-Bow.
The rumor was born from a statement by Caterham Cars boss Graham MacDonald who offered a few more details on the upcoming sports car. According to MacDonald, the new sports car will continue using a Ford four-cylinder engine, but the engine will be supercharged in order to increase total output. He also announced that the new sports car would have a more global appeal and could even be sold on markets like the US. The price for the new model will start from about £40,000, or about $62,500 at the current exchange rates.
Sometimes, what you watch is just too incomprehensible to believe, and only someone with loose screws in his head could possibly pull something off - and have a smile on his face while doing it.
In a nutshell, that’s what this video is all about. Ever the bold and daring type, EVO Magazine’s features editor, Henry Catchpole, is determined to take an open-top Caterham Supersport up a French mountain, which, incidentally enough, has snow on it. Undaunted by the task, Catchpole bravely - and we use that term loosely - ascends up the mountain on a car that’s missing a roof and is probably not as suited as most in that kind of environment.
Never mind the fact that it’s probably freezing up that mountain; what gets us is his seeming nonchalant, devil-may-care attitude as he tries to muster up every last ounce of power on that Caterham’s 140-horsepower, 1.6-liter Ford engine as it slides along the snow-covered road.
You can’t say that Catchpole isn’t trying; but for the sake of keeping his body temperatures in check, he might opt for a Caterham with a roof for his next snowy mountain escapade.
This weekend will mark one of the most important moments in Caterham ’s history: the company is set to enter a Grand Prix as a standalone team. As a celebration of this, the company has released a teaser video of the new SP/300.R race car as well as historic Caterham racing models, the legendary Caterham Seven and Caterham’s first ever F1 car, the CT-01. The test was performed on the Jerez track in Spain and includes a series of very impressive activities, including a few donuts.
The video is just 1:43 minutes long, but it is still long enough to provide a pretty good idea on just how serious Caterham is about their first F1 racer. Let us know if you believe the company has any chance of success in their new race debut in the comments below!
Caterham has announced the launch of a new standalone engineering business, Caterham Technology and Innovation Limited (CTI). The new company will develop a completely new line of accessible and affordable sportscars inspired by the lightweight, minimalist philosophy of the Seven . The new models will use technologies and materials from the Group’s Team Lotus Formula One and Caterham Team AirAsia GP2 motorsport operations. Also, CTI will work at advanced projects from both automotive and aerospace sectors.
"The new shareholders are committed to investing in an exciting range of global products over the next 10 years," says Mark Edwards, CTI’s Chief Executive. "Tony Fernandes has been very clear from the start that Caterham needed a sustainable research and development business model in order to meet the plans the management have for the road car business. By establishing unique operating principles for CTI, we have managed to attract a world-class team of niche vehicle engineers eager to build on the ethos of Caterham and the DNA of the Seven."
After a failed partnership with Group Lotus, entrepreneur and Team Lotus boss, Tony Fernandes, has recently expanded his automotive profile with the acquisition of British sports car maker, Caterham Cars . The official confirmation was given at a special event at Duxford’s Imperial War Museum. Both companies have a strong link to Colin Chapman’s philosophy of ’less is more’ and Fernandes’ opportunistic interest in road cars places Caterham’s unique Seven on a pedestal. Proof of that is in the new special edition Team Lotus Special Edition Seven created to start this partnership off on the right foot.
The only distinguishing features for the Team Lotus Seven will be its Team Lotus-inspired livery paint job with matching interior. The most important addition will be a plaque carrying the signatures of Team Lotus F1 drivers, Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen. Owners will also receive a Seven history book signed by chief designer, Mike Gascoyne.
Caterham managing director, Ansar Ali, said: "Caterham Cars is starting an exciting and hugely important chapter, so it’s entirely fitting that we celebrate our opportunity to take Colin Chapman’s ‘less is more’ philosophy global, with this special car. Owners of the Special Edition Sevens will have not only a fabulous British sportscar, but a genuine piece of automotive history in their garage."
The new Team Lotus Seven will be limited to only 25 units, each priced at £13,650 or about $22,500 at the current exchange rates. The package can also be applied to any model in the line-up, up to the top of the range Superlight R500.
The Lotus-based Caterham Seven has been around for quite awhile with the first sports car model setting its wheels to the road back in 1973. A lot has changed since then and Caterham is now up for the challenge of producing a speedier model derived directly from the race car that competes in the highly-successful Caterham Supersport championship. The new model is appropriately called the Supersport and can be purchased for £19,995 (including tax) in self-build form (about $32,600 at the current exchange rates).
Caterham Cars engineering director, Mark Edwards, said: "The SP/300.R was our first brand new model for 15 years. But the Supersport is all about our roots. The Seven was born out of motorsport and this new model illustrates the values – accessibility, affordability and unadulterated fun – that have made Caterham the iconic brand it is today and which will ensure the Seven’s continuing global success. We’ve built faster and more powerful accelerating cars before, but the Supersport’s character, value and low running costs have generated a machine that will excite sportscar fans, including those on a budget."
Hit the jump to read more about the Caterham Seven Supersport.
The original Lotus 7 was a no nonsense, no frills kind of car. It was the epitome of Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s design philosophy, “Simplify, then add lightness.” The original Lotus 7 was a tiny little bugger. The Lotus 7 was powered by a small Ford-produced Inline 4 and it ranged in power from a meager 49 HP to a more robust 135 HP. The best part about the Lotus 7 was the fact that it weighed as much as a flea and it was astonishingly quick for the time, hitting 60 MPH in less than 7 seconds.
In 1973, Lotus sold the rights for the 7 design to Caterham who has been building it ever since. While Lotus has continued to build a number of small, lightweight cars, - the Elan and Elise come to mind - they’ve sadly never really had a true successor to the original 7. Diseno-art.com thought that should change though and they’ve designed what they dub the 2011 Lotus New 7 Concept to fill that void.