Caterham introduces the new Superlight R600

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 8, 2012

The R600 will be powered by a supercharged 2.0-litre Ford Duratec four-cylinder engine, similar to the Caterham SP/300.R sports prototype. As a result, it will earn the title as the fastest production Seven ever as well as being the first to use forced induction. The R600 Championship is scheduled to begin in 2013. It replaces the challenging R300 series as the top tier of Caterham motorsport. 

In the debut season of the championship, a grid of 16 cars is slated to participate. Meanwhile, the 2014 competition will probably get 30 cars. Simon Lambert, Caterham’s chief motorsport and technical officer, said that Caterham racing “just got even more interesting.”

He added that its current R300 racers will get a “real step up” and will pose to be a new and exciting challenge, even for experienced drivers. Lambert said that the R600 signifies more aggressiveness even when the linear power delivery of the supercharged engine makes it “superbly driveable.” A £44,995 price tag is attached to a factory-prepared R600.

It comes with a six-speed sequential ‘box, Titan limited-slip differential and Avon slick tyres or wets. Current R300 owners can choose to upgrade their cars with the R600 spec, the prices of which have yet to be revealed.

Caterham chiefs said that there are no immediate plans for an R600 road car. However, they imply that it won’t be hard to make one from the current race-car platform. They worry that it may be too extreme for the road but consider this move as a way to test as soon as the race-car has proven how well it can do on track.

Press Release

Caterham Superlight R600

Iconic British road and race car manufacturer, Caterham Cars, has developed its most extreme race-ready Seven to date - the Superlight R600.

With stunning performance potential and all the character of existing Caterham circuit cars, the new supercharged incarnation of the Seven will represent the top echelon of the Caterham racing spectrum in the Superlight R600 Championship from 2013.

Powered by a supercharged, 2-litre Ford Duratec engine, producing 275bhp, the R600's dedicated championship will further extend the Caterham Motorsport 'ladder', currently topped by the hugely successful R300 series.

The R600 race car, which costs £44,995, will be the first Seven ever to feature forced induction technology, making it the fastest ever production Seven and a natural progression from the advances made with Caterham's sports prototype, the SP/300.R, which uses a similar power plant.

Caterham is expecting at least a 16-car grid for the debut championship season in 2013, with 30 cars anticipated to compete the following year.

Simon Lambert, Caterham's Chief Motorsport and Technical Officer, said: "Caterham racing just got even more interesting.

"As the fastest Seven we've ever built, this will provide our existing R300 racers with a real step up and a new and exciting challenge, even for experienced drivers. The R600 represents an increase in aggressiveness, although the linear power delivery of the supercharged engine makes it superbly driveable, much like the R300."

A clear development from the Academy, Roadsport, Tracksport, Supersport and R300 race cars, the R600 will transfer driving characteristics inherent to all Sevens but will be more aggressive - with 200lb-ft of torque, it represents a 13% increase on the current top-of-the-range road-going Seven, the legendary Superlight R500.

Meanwhile, 275bhp is directed to the rear wheels through a six-speed, sequential gearbox.

The headline specification also comprises a Titan limited-slip differential and Avon radial slicks or wets, for increased traction and quicker lap times.

The latest variant of the Seven can be bought as a new car or existing R300 owners can upgrade their vehicles to R600 spec.

Topics: caterham, sports car

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