Caterham’s new Superlight R300 delivers 339bhp-per-tonne

Caterham’s new Superlight R300...
The Caterham R300.
The Caterham R300.
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The Caterham R300.
The Caterham R300.

November 9, 2008 British lightweight sportscar manufacturer Caterham has released details of a new addition to its ‘Superlight’ family. The new Superlight R300 is an update the previous R300, which was originally launched in 2002 and fitted with a Rover engine. The new model offers chassis developments and increased engine performance that see the R300 go from 0-to-60mph in 4.5 seconds courtesy of a new 2.0-litre Ford Duratec engine, tuned by Caterham Powertrain (CPT) to deliver 175bhp. The latest 515kg interpretation of Colin Chapman’s ‘lightweight minimalist’ philosophy balances power and chassis to deliver an impressive 339bhp-per-tonne.

Translated through Caterham’s proven 6-speed gearbox, the 2.0-litre powerplant’s 175bhp and 139 lbs-ft of torque is able to spin the R300’s bespoke Avon CR500-shod Superlight aluminum wheels to a top speed of 140mph. Amongst a wide range of optional extras, hardened enthusiasts will also be able to add Stack data logging instrumentation, a dry sump oil system and, for track-day regulars, a limited slip differential. The new R300 also borrows a few styling cues and technical evolutions first seen on its ‘big brother’, the Superlight R500, such as the addition of a similar flush button dash design and keyless ignition system fitted as standard.

Not content with updating its range Caterham have also announced the addition of another new Seven – the Roadsport 175 - which joins the 600cc Ford Sigma driven 125 and 150 in Caterham’s Roadsport range. Although it is fitted with the Series 3 chassis and utilizes the same 175bhp, 2.0-litre Caterham Powertrain (CPT) Duratec engine fitted to the R300, the new Roadsport is aimed at drivers largely focused on B-Road blasts and touring. Instead of more track-focused features, such as lashings of carbon fibre and track-biased suspension and brakes, the Roadsport 175 comes fitted with weather equipment and a heater as standard. Other differences include a 5-speed gearbox with longer ratios and 14-inch alloy wheels.

The Superlight R300 will start at UKP 24,995 (US$39500) in component form and UKP 27,995 (US$44400) factory built with delivery starting in spring 2009, while prices for the Roadsport 175 start at UKP 21,995 (US$35000) in component form and UKP 24,995 (US$39500 at time of publication) for factory built.

Both the R300 and Roadsport 175 are available in a SV ‘wide chassis’ version, costing an additional UKP 1,750 (USD$2800).

For more information visit Caterham.

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