10 April 2008

Red, light, destruct

Fancy spending your summer in a roadside ditch? Meet the Caterham R500

Caterham R500

OK, so it's not quite the mental V8-engined RS we told you about a couple of months back, but the newest Caterham is set to be properly nuts nonetheless.

This is the R500. Details are scarce at the moment, but we've got a few insider tips on what we can expect from this lightweight, stripped-out Seven when it arrives later this year. 

Lots of fastness, basically. Expect more than 250bhp from a Ford-sourced four-pot engine and a kerbweight under 500kg thanks to reams of carbon fibre. That means a power-to-weight ratio of over 500bhp per tonne - hence the R500 name - and the sort of acceleration that folds your internal organs into a pummelled-flat schnitzel arrangement.

The old R500, first seen in 1999, would hit 100mph in a touch over eight seconds, and our Caterham source promises us that this one will be even quicker. Word is that it'll dispatch 60mph comfortably under 3.5 seconds on the way to a top speed over 150mph.

We're also told that the R500 will benefit from 'lots of really satisfying details that raise the car'. Good news, then - it's getting seats!

We can't wait to drive it, though. Here's hoping it's a dry summer. Eep.

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