Caterham announced that its iconic pearl white and orange Superlight R500 will be back at the Top Gear Live 2011. For those who don’t know, the car was driven to within a fraction of the Top Gear Power Lap record by The Stig three years ago. Now, the Caterham Superlight R500 will be driven by The Stig on a purpose-built, indoor race track for the brand new Power Laps feature of the live show.
Superlight R500 was retired at the end of 2010 after spending two years on the famous sportscar maker’s press fleet.
Caterham R500 will be performing on track at Birmingham’s NEC. on 11-13 November and London’s ExCeL between 24-27 November. Due to its 500bhp-per-tonne performance, the Caterham Superlight R500 flew round Top Gear’s Dunsfold circuit in a blistering time of 1:17.9 seconds, overtaking cars that cost 10 times more. Back in 2008 the car was named Top Gear TV’s Car of the Year.
Caterham Cars’ Andy Noble commented: “We always said that we’d need a damn good reason to bring the Top Gear R500 out of retirement, so when we got the call, we couldn’t resist the temptation to unleash it on the public once more on this unique indoor track.”
The British brand brings back the hottest R500 supercar with the all-new Caterham Seven Superlight Series 3. Although built on the legendary Seven lightweight and minimalist platform, the Superlight R500 offers a higher level of intensity and better handling.
Caterham Motorsport designed the new R500’s sequential gearbox for unparalleled driving experience. The sports car weighs only 506kg but boasts an impressive 263bhp. This makes the Superlight R500 one of Seven’s most racing-intensified creations ever.
Meanwhile, the flagship model’s highly incredible 520bhp can deliver 0-60mph in just 2.88 seconds. This means “pure pleasure” for thrill-seeking individuals and racing enthusiasts alike. It even has the Kevlar race seats to take to the most adrenaline-charged road revelry anyone could imagine.
Then of course, extreme driving must have all the essentials ready any minute such as the fully adjustable dampers, aerodynamic wishbone suspension and the race-bred Avon CR500 tyres. And let’s not forget about the powerful braking system to go with these such as the twin piston calipers (for the front and rear) and also the 4-piston caliper clamps on vented discs.
If we try to recall, the first Caterham R500 model became famous because of the Rover K-series engine’s record-breaking (0-100-0mph) performance. Now, history seems to repeat itself with the new model’s impressive engine. This time rather, it’s more powerful than the first because of the modern engineering techniques and super lightweight technology applied.
Caterham used Ford Duratec 2.0L 4-cylinder engine in pure aluminium. The CPT produces the 263bhp with 177lb-ft torque to the rear wheels while the 6-speed standard gearbox takes care of the acceleration. Similarly, the Caterham Motorsport engineered sequential transmission can also be a good choice.
In the meantime, Caterham’s C400 race series continues to relive its glorious performance on the new Superlight R500. Several C400-inspired upgrades are being offered which includes the renowned Eibach Springs, Dampers, Carbon Induction Airbox, Launch Control and the Sequential Transmission package.