Caterham R500 - Top Gear TV 2008 Car of the Year
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.