13 April 2008

Speed of light

We've got all the details on the awesome Caterham R500. Oh lord

Caterham R500

Prepare to be afraid. We've got all the details on the awesome Caterham R500, that we showed you a little bit of last week, and a bunch more pictures showing the lightweight face-reshaper in all its pearly-white glory.

The R500 gets a 263bhp two-litre Duratec four-pot that'll rev to a migrane-inducing 8,500rpm. That power will be put to the road through a six-speed manual or six-speed sequential box - and we know which one we'd take.

You want more techie specs? The R500 gets 13-inch anthracite wheels, 'aerodynamically shaped front wishbones' (we're pretty sure they're good), fully-adjustable dampers, a dash straight out of a 1960s sci-fi film and Ferrari 599-style launch control as standard. Quite what it'll launch you into remains unclear.

To shave nine kilograms from the Seven's chassis, the Caterham engineers went wild with the Kevlar 'n' carbon fibre - there's even a carbon leather boot cover - and also developed bespoke thinner body panels and even aluminium rear light housings.

All that added lightness means 520bhp per tonne - and a staggering 0-60 time of 2.88 seconds. Yep, we thought we'd save that stat until the end. Two point eight eight. Enough said.

Well, nearly. Just one more stat for you: £36,995, which is what you'll pay for the R500. That might sound a lot, but put another way it's a mere £74 per kilo.

When you consider albino caviar costs £22,000 per kilo - and how much fun can you have with albino caviar and an open road? - that R500 looks like a veritable bargain.

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