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Caterham models, news & reviews
By Adam Towler
15 May 2008 09:45
The R500: Caterham’s maddest, meanest creation returns to scare witless anyone brave enough to strap themselves into its kevlar bucket seat: more advanced, more usable, but promising to be as vicious as an R500 should be.
Yes: 263bhp powering an object weighing 506kg to be precise, so it's actually a bit more. Essentially this R500 is an R400 with its track-focused Series 3 chassis (not the CSR chassis) fitted with a fully stoked Ford Duratec and lots of carbonfibre bits. It actually weighs 9kg less than an R400 thanks to thinner body panels and aluminium rear light clusters amongst a host of other tweaks. There are also the options, at additional cost, of a sequential gearbox, a carbonfibre airbox, a track suspension package (in addition to the adjustable Bilsteins as standard) and launch control.
Any car faintly resembling a bathtub on wheels with 500bhp-per-tonne is going to be extreme, let’s face it. However, the difference between this latest creation and the old, Rover K-series powered R500, is that you no longer need to mercilessly cane the life out of the engine to extract that supercar-humbling performance.
Caterham has worked hard at mapping the midrange so that there’s ample shove on offer at sensible rpm. And there's an appreciable step-up in power around 5500rpm. Other niceties include a new dashboard with keyless go and handy little indicator buttons on the tiny steering wheel.
Click 'Next' below to read more of our Caterham Superlight R500 first drive
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Caterham Superlight R500 (2008) CAR review
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RE: Caterham Superlight R500 (2008) CAR review
A good, well written article, although a little light on the 'driving experience'. I used to own a K series Roadsport and even that used to extract huge delight, deeply impressing passengers and attracting new friends wherever I went in it. It did, however, seriously offend the occasional Jack the Lad at the traffic lights!!!! I could, however, never justify £40,000 for such an impractical car, but I hope one day to experience an R500, just once. Pitty the Stig has not done a lap in one on a warm day......
06 February 2012 13:55
That pre-catalyst O2 sensor looks a bit vulnerable in photo 4.
09 July 2011 15:43
RE: Caterham Superlight R500 driven
Despite having roots that stretch back to the 1950s, it seems that the Seven has never been more relevant. As our desire for more speed and performance clashes with the move towards fuel economy and environmental concerns, the seven uses its light weight to provide extreme performance without the pricetag.
Although the MPG and CO2 aren't quoted here, I would expect them to be better than most other cars with this sort of performance.
Perhaps, ironially, the seven is a glimpse of the future of performance motoring?
16 May 2008 04:16
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