A month after announcing that they were debuting an all-new model at the Autosport International Show, the day has finally come. And true to their word, Caterham didn’t disappoint.
Hoping to build momentum on the recent sales success of the Lotus Seven-derived Roadsport and Superlight, Caterham officially unveiled their latest baby, the SP/300.R.
As a point of clarification, the new SP/300.R will not be replacing the company’s existing models. Instead, Caterham is hoping that the SP/300.R will join the existing range to complement each other and give customers a wider range of models to choose from.
The SP/300.R is the latest in a long line of Caterhams, one that remains true to the lightweight, minimalist DNA of the legendary Seven. Caterham built the SP/300.R in collaboration with Lola Cars and together, the two companies have created a wondrous piece of machinery that should catapult Caterham into the consciousness of younger generations that were too young to enjoy their racers back in their heyday.
UPDATE 06/18/2012: Caterham’s SP/300.R just gave a very important lesson to some of the most amazing supercars out there. The sports car delivered the fastest lap during the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, the annual show held in the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle. Some of the world’s most expensive and fastest supercars, including models from Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and its direct competitor, the Ariel Atom V8 500 attended the event in hopes of overtaking the record, but Caterham was the clear winner.
With Caterham Drive Experience instructor, Scott Mansell behind the wheel, the SP/300.R lapped the 1.2 mile course in am impressive 61.89 seconds. The previous record was help by Lamborghini who established a time of 62.68 seconds back in 2010.
Details on the Caterham SP/300.R after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
Looking like the modern-day race car Caterham always wanted it to be, the SP/300.R was built using a Lola-developed aluminum honeycomb monocoque chassis with a seven-piece lightweight polyurethane body system.
Apart from the chassis, Lola Motors also developed an aero package exclusively for the SP/300.R that includes an adjustable carbon rear wing, a composite front splitter, a composite rear diffuser, aero-optimized dive planes, front low/high beam lights with permanent LED running lights, rear LED running lights with integrated brake lights, high-intensity rain light, and a three-stage down-force configuration.
On top of that, the SP/300.R also features a quick lifting on-board air jack system, a Hewland sequential gearbox with paddles on the Momo steering wheel that has its own integral driver display system, left or right hand drive configurations, race-spec Schroth six-point harnesses, MSA specification twin roll over protection hoops and front crash structure, an FIA-approved fuel cell with an external filling point, and a set of ATS center-lock Formula 3 wheels with bespoke Cooper tires.
The SP/300.R is powered by a 2.0-liter Ford Duratec Supercharged engine that delivers 301hp at 7,500 RPM with a maximum torque of 290 Nm at 7,500 RPM and a Lola Formula 3 derived gearbox mounted rear suspension system.
According to Caterham, the SP/300.R can run north-to-60 in just 2.8 seconds with a top speed of 180mph.
Pricing and Sales Date
The British company has yet to release a price tag on the SP/300.R, but if we could venture a guess based on what other Caterham models are priced, we’re guesstimating that it’s going cost a little under six digits.
If you are interested into testing the new SP/300.R model, Caterham Cars has released the first series of dates on which racing drivers and trackday enthusiasts can get their hands on the new SP/300.R sports prototype.They are as follows: * Saturday, August 27 at Donington Park, Wednesday, September 7 at Donington Park, Thursday, September 15 at Snetterton, Wednesday, September 21 at Donington Park. Customers who have already placed orders will be given priority booking slots, after which the extensive list of people who have registered an interest with Caterham will be offered one of the strictly limited drives.
In October 2011, Caterham announced that the SP/300.R would be headed over to the US. It will be distributed by sportscar team, Dyson Racing, who will get their demo car in early 2012 followed by deliveries to other customers by Spring 2012.
The SP/300.R was obviously designed by Caterham, but will head over to Lola cars to ensure US-spec compliance. After approved, the SP/300.R will be assembled at Dyson Racing’s facility in Poughkeepsie, NY, north of New York City.
We’re trying to resist the urge given that this other vehicle is also scheduled to debut at the Autosport International Show, but we’ll throw it out there anyway.
If both cars ever make it out on track, you can expect the Caterham SP/300.R and the Radical SR3 SL to have a serious throw-down.
Less cutesy and more in-tune with its new racer look
High-grade materials ensure top-notch quality
Top speed of 180mph is rather juicy
Give us a price, please?
Body still looks a little bare
No word on availability either