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Caterham R300 Superlight unveiled

Tue, 28 Oct 2008

By Ben Pulman

First Official Pictures

28 October 2008 10:30

Caterham has released its latest Superlight Seven model, the R300. Powered by a 2.0-litre Ford Duratec engine, tweaked by Caterham Powertrain to produce 175bhp, the new R300 will sprint to 60mph in 4.5 seconds. 

The new R300 weighs a mere 515kg, just 15kg more than CAR’s long-term 1.6-litre Superlight. Combined with the new 175bhp engine, the R300 has a power-to-weight ratio of 339bhp-per-tonne – a Porsche 911 Carrera S has a mere 270 by comparison.

Along with 175bhp there’s also 139lb ft, Caterham’s tried and tested six-speed manual gearbox, sticky Avon CR500 tyres, a CSR-inspired nose and the R500’s flush-button dash. Top speed is 140mph and deliveries start in spring 2009, at £24,995 in kit form or £27,995 fully-built.

Technically our 500kg Superlight 150 has a power-to-weight ratio of 300bhp-per-tonne, but obviously it’s not up to Caterham’s extreme standards.

However, if you want a halfway house between our Superlight 150 and the new R300, there’s now a Roadsport 175 available. It does away with the carbonfibre and track-biased suspension of the Superlight, but comes as standard with weather equipment and a heater. There’s also a five-speed ‘box with longer ratios. Prices start at £21,995 if you fancy a bit of DIY, or £24,995 if you want the lazy option.

Both the R300 and Roadsport 175 can be specced with the optional (longer and wider) SV chassis for £1750, while the flush-button dash is expected to become an option on the R400 within the next few months.

By Ben Pulman