The Caterham Supersport has received a steroid-induced brother in the form of the track-bred Supersport R, an evolution of the iconic Lotus Seven.
Compared to the standard Supersport, Supersport R gains a bigger engine that boosts outright performance significantly. Its Ford-sourced 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 180 horsepower and 143 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission sends all that power to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential, allowing the 1,179-pound (535 kg) sports car to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.8 seconds en route to a top speed of 130 mph (209 km).
Avon CR500 tires, along with a race-inspired suspension that includes special springs and shock absorbers, provide the Supersport R with a more spirited driving experience. The bare-bone interior features bucket seats made out of carbon composite and two four-point racing harnesses.
The Caterham Supersport R is available throughout Europe with a starting price of £24,995 (around $40,000) in kit form or £27,995 (roughly $45,000) when fully-built. Optional features include a battery cut-off switch, a six-speed manual gearbox and a wide body chassis.
6 Small Automakers that Challenge the Status Quo
Beneath the automobile industry’s upper crust, where big names like Toyota, GM, Volkswagen, Ford, Honda, and Hyundai rule the roost, there is a vibrant world of smaller manufacturers designing and building specialty cars. The cars that they make, generally speaking, are not for the mainstream but mostly unique luxury/sports cars or vehicles designed for city use.
As with everything in life, of the hundreds of small car companies out there in the world, only a handful truly stand out. Working with , a local Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep dealer in Gilbert, AZ, we have put together a list of 6 that are definitely worth knowing about and keeping an eye on.
Car enthusiasts and fans of supercars in general may be familiar with Koenigsegg, the Swedish manufacturer of high-performance sports cars credited with making one of the world’s fastest cars. The Koenigsegg One:1 (pictured), a sibling of the Agera, has been dubbed the world’s first megacar, being able to produce around 1,341 horsepower and 1011 pound-feet of torque. It can hit 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in a neck-snapping 2.5 seconds!
Quite the accomplishment for a company that only employs around 70 full-time staff, won’t you say?
Founded in 1979, specializes in building open two-seater roadsters. Their cars are fundamentally designed for racing but certain amenities are added for more comfortable street use. Caterham has a small network of dealers but many cars are sold direct from the factory.
Despite being hand-built, Caterham cars don’t have stratospheric prices. In fact, the company’s Seven 280 model starts at around $34,000.
Based in Spokane, Washington, makes a single model called the Tango. It’s a funny-looking car, but don’t let its diminutive proportions fool you — small vehicles like the Tango could go a long way toward cleaning up our cities of congestion and pollution.
It’s an all-electric EV with a driving range of 120 miles at 60 mph. The most surprising thing? Get this, the Tango can reach 60 from a standstill in just 3.2 seconds — faster than most sports cars and supercars!
Mastretta Cars isn’t well known but it is gaining in notoriety. A division of a Mexican engineering firm, the company currently only has one product to its name: The Mastretta MXT. The MXT is a small sports car that’s at home on the race track. Built using lightweight materials, and equipped with a 2.0-liter, 250 HP engine sourced from Ford, it has a top speed of more than 161 miles per hour.
Ariel Motor Company
Like Caterham, Ariel Motors specializes in small, race-inspired roadsters, with its most famous model being the Atom. As the company’s bread and butter product, the potent little sports car seems to be gaining in popularity, with the police force in the UK acquiring several for their fleet.
Ariel’s product portfolio has recently broadened with the introduction of a motorcycle called the Ace.
Renovo is a competitor to Tesla Motors, and the Renovo Coupe is the Silicon Valley-based company’s first vehicle. Like the Tesla Roadster, it’s an all-electric sports car that boasts some remarkable specs. For example, its 500 HP engine produces 1,000 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to rocket to 60 mph in only 3.4 seconds.
Renovo is very young, so here’s hoping this is just the beginning of more great, forward-looking cars.
Caterham Seven Kamui Kobayashi Special Edition is for Japan Only
As a special treat for Japan, the Caterham Seven Kamui Kobayashi was designed with the help of Caterham F1 Team’s Japanese driver, Kamui Kobayashi. Only 10 examples will be made, each costing ¥6,000,000 (~ $58,900 / £35,000 / €43,200).
Based on the Seven 250 R, the Seven Kamui Kobayashi is powered by a Ford-sourced Sigma 4-cylinder 1.6-liter engine producing 125 horsepower. Using a six-speed manual transmission with a limited slip differential, it accelerates from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.9 seconds on route to a top speed of 122 mph (196 km/h).
Outside, Kamui chose to give his namesake sports car a high-gloss black paint finish with matt black sport stripes, carbon fibre infused with a unique Caterham green lacquer on the front wings and rear wing protectors, a polished chrome rear exit exhaust system, and new 13-inch diamond cut black wheels.
The performance theme continues inside where one finds a carbon fibre dashboard detailed with the Caterham green lacquer, which is personally signed by Kamui; unique gauge inlays, an anodised green gear knob and key; carbon fibre sports seats with green contrast stitching and green Takata-branded 4-point harness; and a Kamui logo on the headrest.
“For me, the Caterham Seven is a pure car; when you drive a Seven it feels like you are driving, not like the car is driving you,” Kamui said about the special edition Seven R. “In my Caterham F1 car, I have electronics that control everything but to drive the Seven is to truly understand the car and to truly understand the enjoyment of driving. I hope my styling of the Seven adds something special to a car that is already awesome to drive.”
Caterham Seven 160 is Suzuki-powered, Pictures and Details
Caterham has released details and pictures of its new entry-level model, the Seven 160 (165 in the rest of Europe).
The Seven 160 is powered by a very compact, Suzuki-sourced three-cylinder 660cc turbocharged engine that produces 80 horsepower and 79 lb-ft (107 Nm) of torque. That power is channeled to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox, allowing the lightweight track car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 6.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 100 mph (161 km/h).
According to Caterham, the Seven 160 redefines the budget sports car segment thanks to its new live-axle rear suspension, compact engine and low weight that lend it “an intuitive handling experience and a balanced yet playful chassis.”
True to the iconic Lotus Seven that inspires it, the track-focused car is bare bone to say the least. Its list of optional features include a full windshield, a Momo three-spoke steering wheel, carpet, a heater, a tonneau cover, leather upholstery, and a spare tire.
Production of the Caterham Seven 160 will begin in January 2014, with deliveries starting in the spring. The base model will be priced at £14,995 (€17,598) in the UK, while a fully-equipped model will fetch you £17,995 (£21,118).