"Britain’s most exciting racing series just became supercharged."
This is how Caterham is describing their upcoming race car set to be unveiled in October 2012. No other details have been offered, but the first teaser image revealed shows the word "supercharged," meaning, of course, that the new race car will be powered by a supercharged engine.
This new race car could be the bigger brother of the R300 and could be powered by a supercharged version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine sourced from Ford. This would lead us to believe that we may be looking at about 250 ponies, at least that’s what we are hoping for.
A few weeks ago, it was rumored that Caterham was working on a new sports car that featured a new roof and a more comfortable cabin, as well as supercharged Ford four-cylinder engine to increase output. This teased model should most definitely be the vehicle he was talking about, but we’ll have to wait until October for confirmation.
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.
There are some whispers spreading around on the good ol’ Net that Renault and Caterham may be teaming up to facilitate the return of the Alpine name. The ball has already started rolling with the introduction of the Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept, but a French report is stating that this team effort will benefit the lineups of both manufacturers.
Renault’s goal is to create a light and agile Alpine which will be easier with the help of a smaller company, while Caterham is looking to build a new range-topping sports car that will be made possible with the knowledge provided by a larger, more experienced manufacturer. It’s the classic, "You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours" scenario. What we’ll get out of it is a light rear-engined Alpine priced somewhere between $44,000 to $50,000 which is expected to be unveiled sometime in 2015.
"We’ve had talks with potential partners," said Carlos Tavares, Renault’s Chief Operating Officer in a previous interview. "We’ll decide whether or not to revive Alpine before the end of this year, but I think there’s a good chance that a new Alpine will see the light of day."
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.
There are two things that Caterham shares with Lotus. The first is that they both are U.K.-based companies and the second is that they both had Ansar Ali as an executive in the company. Short of that, the two companies have stark differences. The biggest difference being that Caterham stayed focused on its racecar-building division, then slowly started working itself toward street cars, thus keeping it profitable. Lotus, on the other end of the spectrum, has been trigger happy lately and has lost millions of dollars.
Well, the man given a lion’s share of the credit for Caterhams’s success, Ansar Ali, has stepped down from his post as Managing Director of the successful company. The resignation is certainly not forced, as Caterham chairman, Tony Fernandes, poured a heavy helping of praise over top of Ali as he departed and this can only point to the fact that Ali is leaving for another job, a la the former Audi CEO bolting for Infiniti.
On paper, the destination is obviously Lotus. Do the math, it is a struggling company, much like Caterham was prior to Ali taking the reins, it lacks a CEO since Dany Bahar’s termination, and there is already a history between Ali and Lotus. Add in the fact that Ali is already in the U.K., where Lotus is based, and you come up with a perfect match.
If Ali is heading to Lotus, don’t expect an immediate announcement, especially given the rumors of Bahar suing Lotus. Lotus would be wise to bring Ali on as a special consultant for a few months until the Bahar storm settles down.
We’ll keep an eye on where Ali lands and let you know as soon as we hear anything.
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.
Andy Noble, Caterham Cars Sales and Marketing Director, said: “The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power has been growing in statue for several years now and it is a truly excellent event, anybody who’s anybody is here and that is partly why it is so satisfying to take the lap record and secure the fastest time for a car around this beautiful circuit."
The market for track-only race cars available to all members of the public has grown substantially over the past few years, so much so that various manufacturers are now building cars specifically for track-days. At the upper end of the market, we have the Pagani Zonda R and the Ferrari 599XX, but there are more affordable alternatives available for U.S. buyers, and the Caterham SP/300.R is the latest. Dyson Racing recently received its first unit, before Caterham ships more 300’s across the pond.
Dyson Racing will be the sole distributor of the SP/300.R in the U.S. market, and this latest delivery will surely prompt Caterham to sell more in the U.S. If, of course, there are enough prospecting customers out there. As a matter of fact, Dyson Racing received chassis #1 and plans on using the vehicle for demonstration purposes to convince wannabe-racers to splurge around $95,000 for the car.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the SP/300.R isn’t road-legal in any state, so if you live in the middle of nowhere with no race tracks in sight, then this incredible track-car obviously isn’t for you. Fortunately however, all citizens will be able to enjoy the following two videos which Caterham recently released in conjunction with Dyson Racing taking delivery of the first SP/300.R.
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!
There are two things you need to know about 14-year old Maddy Wagner: she loves supercars and she has autism.
The former may sound trivial compared to the latter, but Maddy doesn’t think of herself any less even with her condition. She has her dad to thank for that. Her father said that it was important for “Maddy not be defined by her autism. I’ve taught both my kids that they can accomplish whatever they believe they can accomplish. Yes, she’s autistic, but in every other way, she’s just like every other teenage girl. I hope people don’t see her as being autistic but rather as being a beautiful young lady who can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.”
And what Maddy set her mind to was a fascination for exotics and one of her holiday wishes was to get a chance to ride in one.
Last week, her wish became a reality, except that instead of riding in one supercar, Maddy was able to sit shotgun in 13 of them. From Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and even a Caterham, Maddy’s holiday wish came true with the help of some selfless supercar owners.