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Caterham RST-V8 Levante (2008): first official pictures

Tue, 26 Feb 2008

By Mark Nichol

First Official Pictures

26 February 2008 12:51

This is the Caterham RST-V8 Levante, an example of what happens when a chirpy British sports car turns over to the dark side. The Levante is the work of RS Performance, which has taken an SV chassis, stuffed a 2.4-litre supercharged V8 into the front and coated the lot in swathes of carbon fibre. The result is 550bhp in a chassis weighing little over 500kg.

The mathematicians among you will already have worked out that’s over 1000bhp per tonne, and the statisticians will know it’s more than a Bugatti Veyron. The 0-62mph sprint is completed in under three seconds.

With difficulty. The carbonfibre weight-loss diet means there's even less weight to push the rear tyres in the Tarmac. Hopefully the chassis, super-sticky tyres and traction and launch control will keep everything tidy.

Russell Savory, the man behind RS Motorsport, has been developing the Levante for over 16 years, so don’t expect any shoddy kit-car workmanship here. Weight-saving measures include a steering wheel fashioned with carbonfibre and Kevlar seats. Even the F1 style front splitter is carbon, although for £115,000 you might expect a bit of racing technology.

Click 'Next' to read about how this mad Caterham will try to keep all that power contained

By Mark Nichol