Pity the poor Ferrari or Aston Martin owner, his stock portfolio in ruins and his yacht repossessed. What can a man of former means ride around in now that the six figure exotic in his garage has to go? British sports car manufacturer humbly offers up itself to the downtrodden as a beacon of performance with an affordable price tag. These lightweight wonders posses time proven designs that still serve up healthy amounts of "Whee!" As evidence of its newly discovered market appeal, Caterham claims to have seen both a Ferrari 430 and a Porsche 911 Turbo traded-in by its customers last month.
What do you say TopSpeeders? Is the Caterham a suitable replacement for an Italian stallion?
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.
Caterham released today details on the 2008 Superlight R300, an out-of-the-box racer. Because Caterham builds basically modern (not really) Lotus 7s, it’s no surprise that the R300 follows the maxim of Lotus founder Colin Chapman, "To add speed, add lightness." The basic Caterham doesn’t usually come with many creature comforts, but the Superlight series eliminates even more (such as wet weather equipment) to ’add lightness’.
The R300 is powered by a 2.0-liter Ford-sourced Caterham Powertrain (CPT) Duratec engine that delivers 175bhp @ 7000 and a peak torque of 139 lbs-ft @ 6000. It makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 4.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 140mph.
The Superlight R300 will go on sale in the U.K. in the spring of 2009 at a price of £24,995. No word yet on if it will make it to the U.S., but hopefully Caterham is keeping a closer eye on its American cousin with the launch of its North American website . Then again, we already have its bigger brother, the 263 hp Superlight R500 available in the States.
Caterham , the company that has been perpetuating the Lotus 7, has just started a website specifically for the U.S. market. Now that we know the ultra-fast, ultra-light LS Levante has sold out , it seems in past the North American market has been missing out on some more innovations for the roller skate-like car. By the company’s own admission, “The U.S. have had to settle for the outdated Ford X-Flow and more recently Ford Zetec engines, while the U.K. market received exciting new products. With the release of the Ford Duratec packages developed in house by Caterham Power Train (CPT), the U.S. market now has access to all the latest Caterham engine options.”
This may be a genius idea. With an economy that is starting to slowdown, all those former mortgage lenders are no longer able to afford a Porsche. But why downsize the performance when you can just downsize the car? Plus the Caterham build-it-yourself car is perfect for the former Wall Street jockey who has all of a sudden found he’s got a lot more time on his hands.
Ever wanted to know what it feels like to be strapped to a V8 engine barreling down the road? Well you may not get the chance now that the 500 hp Caterham LS Levante has sold out. Not surprising, considering the Lotus 7 based car was limited to only eight units.
The Levante was launched in Spring 2008 and is the most powerful production Caterham ever. The lucky eight owners (i.e. organ donors) get a supercharged 2.4-liter V8 engine with a modified version of the lightweight Caterham SV chassis. With close to 1000bhp-per-tonne (metric), the figure is nearly double that of the Bugatti Veyron. It makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in less than 3 seconds and can hit a top speed of 150mph (limited).
To commemorate 15 years of the renowned Caterham Driving Experience (CDX) days, Caterham has released a high-spec, limited edition version of the tire-smoking cars at an attractive price.
Caterham’s motto of ‘Designed for racing, built for living’ is more relevant than ever with the CDX Limited Edition. Thrill-seeking drivers are urged to act fast as the first 20 cars will include over £2000 worth of performance extras – including a tuned 1.6-litre power unit – within the £17,495 asking price. A finance option is also available on this model with a monthly payment as low as £199.
Created to mimic the highly focused abilities and looks of the actual Sevens used on CDX days, the latest Seven boasts a 135bhp version of the distinguished K-Series powerplant, a limited-slip differential and track day roll-over bar. All this creates a serious tool for the track that’s equally at home on the road.
Give your Dad a Father’s Day gift to remember by spending the day burning rubber sideways in a Caterham Seven. The one-day Caterham Driving Experience (CDX) courses, starting from £99, will put Dad behind the wheel of the legendary Caterham Seven where he’ll be taught how to push the British sportscar to its limits in a relaxed and safe environment.
CDX days aren’t just for wannabe racers, they appeal to anybody with a driving licence and a sense of fun! What could be better than thrashing somebody else’s sportscar for the day with no guilty conscience?
The Caterham Seven is widely regarded as one of the purest driving experiences available. Stripped to the very basics, these lightweight two-seaters offer unparalleled driver feedback with none of the boring electronics that dull the sensation of most modern supercars – just you and the road.
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.
Caterham and RS Performance joined their forces and created the Caterham RS Seven, the ultimate in bespoke Seven coachbuilding. It will be priced at £115,000 (dependent on specification).
The Caterham RS Seven will be powered by a 40-valve, 2.4 litre V8 engine that delivers an incredible 400bhp in normally aspirated mode, or over 500bhp as a supercharged variant, whilst weighing only 90kg in full running gear.
The unbridled lightness of the RST-V8 matched to the already featherweight Seven chassis delivers a power-to-weight ratio of over 1000bhp per tonne – more than double of a Bugatti Veyron.