2004 Caterham Superlight R500 Evolution

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(from Caterham Press Release)  Honed on the race circuits of Europe, and with nearly half a century of heritage, the explosive new Caterham Seven Superlight R500 evolution has arrived.

Weighing just 470 kg, the lightweight Seven packs a 530bhp per tonne punch from the specially bored 1998cc K Series engine. Impressive figures but the real clout comes from the 190lb ft of torque that kicks in at less than 4,000 revs, serving up the 125bhp per litre quicker and with more gusto than anything else on the road.

Engineered, designed and hand built in Britain, the new R500 evolution will sit at the top of the hugely successful Superlight family joining the world record breaking R500, the R400 and fastest ever selling Seven, the R300.

The minimalist cabin is dressed with lightweight carbon-fibre trim, carbon-kevlar race seats and the classic Superlight Stack speedometer. New lightweight 13-inch eight-spoke wheels shod with Avon CR500 tyres help convert the raw power into road performance, whilst the AP Racing brakes have been fine-tuned at endurance events at Nurburgring and in the USA.

Fully adjustable dampers allow those buying the R500 evolution for track day hedonism to travel en route to the circuit with a set-up more tuned to the road conditions, only to alter and lower for the rigours of high-speed tarmac action.

"Designed for the experienced driver, the Superlight R500 evolution perfectly sums up the spirit of the Seven and in doing so, sets a new standard in terms of performance, agility and enjoyment," explained Simon Nearn, managing director of Caterham Cars.

On sale from end of April, the Superlight R500 evolution is priced at 42,000 on the road.

Breaks 0-100-0 Record

A British built sportscar has smashed the production car world record for sprinting to 100mph and back again, leaving Ferraris and Porsches trailing in its wake along a 2-mile runway at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, Leicestershire.

The lightweight Caterham Seven R500 evolution, set a new world record time of 10.73 seconds during Autocar Magazine's annual 0-100mph-0 test.

The two-seater Seven raced to 60mph from a standing start in 3.21secs, having hit the 30mph mark in just 1.45secs. With 100mph reached in an incredible 6.92secs, the Caterham stopped a mere 3.6secs later.

The Surrey built model out paced cars worth 10 times its 42,000 price tag with the 425,000 Ferrari Enzo securing a time of 10.98 seconds. Even the quickest of all the big road bikes, a Suzuki GSX-R1000, which hits 100mph in 5.03secs, could only complete the Autocar test in 10.89secs.

Autocar Editor, Steve Sutcliffe said: "You'd think we'd have been in this game long enough not to be surprised when we break a world record which seemed unbreakable when we set it last year. But if our annual 0-100-0 speed-fest proves one thing, it's the sheer pace of automotive development."

Having lost its 0-100-0mph record to the American Mosler MT900S, a road going version of a GT race car, last November, (previous holders of the title include the 500,000 McLaren F1 road car) Caterham smashed its 2003 time by almost half a second, and its 2002 record of 11.44 secs by seven tenths of a second.

Launched earlier this month, as the ultimate performance driver's car, the R500 evolution is the flagship Caterham Seven model.

Simon Nearn, managing director of Caterham Cars said: "By testing a car's acceleration and braking, the 0-100-0 test is THE true indicator of a car's all round performance capability. This record also proves that we have built a car which can respond to a driver's reactions quicker and more safely than anything else on the road."

The Autocar Magazine road test team put 47 cars through their paces ranging from a Renault Megane RS, Honda Civic Type R, Ruf Porsche Turbo, BMW CSL, Aston Martin DB9, all the way to the Ferrari Enzo, Mercedes McLaren SLR and Porsche Carrera GT.

Rizla-Suzuki

Caterham has teamed up with the Rizla-Suzuki British Superbike team as part of its launch programme for the new flagship Seven Superlight R500 evolution.

The partnership will see a Rizla-Suzuki liveried R500 evolution accompany the team in a promotional capacity as it contests the 13-round British Superbike Championship, widely acclaimed as the most competitive Superbike series in the world.

Team rider and 2003 runner-up John Reynolds will take centre stage during race weekends as he swaps his 200mph Crescent prepared GSX-R1000 for the devastatingly quick Caterham Seven to complete demonstration hot-laps.

With a pedigree firmly established in motorsport, the new 2.0-litre, 250bhp powered sportscar will be in good company at Rizla Suzuki.

The Superlight R500 evolution boasts a 0-60mph sprint of 3.2 seconds, whereas its two-wheeled companion will reach the same point in a matter of 2.5 seconds, and onto 100mph in under-4 seconds.

Weighing just 470 kg, the lightweight Seven packs its mighty punch thanks to the 190lb ft of torque that kicks in at less than 4,000 revs.