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.
How lightweight is this Caterham R300 Superlight?
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.
Isn’t CAR’s Caterham already an R300?
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.