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Caterham introduces track-focused Supersport R

Fri, 09 Nov 2012

Caterham Cars in the United Kingdom is adding to its range of open-wheel, extra-light sportscars with the Supersport R. The R model builds on the Supersport trim with more power, interior upgrades and an 1,179-pound curb weight.

The Supersport R is motivated by a 2.0-liter Ford Duratec engine making 180 hp and 143 lb-ft of torque. Now, that may not seem like much, but we've driven a few of these things and when you take into account the power-to-weight ratio, they're screamers. The base Supersport makes do with a 1.6-liter Duratec. Acceleration to 60 mph takes just 4.8 seconds. The top speed of the Supersport is 130 mph.

Inside, the Supersport R receives a unique steering wheel, integrated shift lights, composite race seats and a four-point harness. Basically, it's ready to race.

A limited-slip differential sorts things out in the rear while sticky Avon CR500 tires, Supersport dampers and race springs keep things under control at the corners. Caterham says the Supersport's handling is highly focused but supple enough for the road.

“The Supersport's formula has struck a chord with driving enthusiasts and we are confident that, by extending the range to include an R model, we will be able to build on the original's success,” Caterham Cars chief executive, Graham Macdonald said.

The kit version of Caterham Supersport R costs $39,802 converted from British pounds; the pre-built version costs $44,545.

By Jake Lingeman