World Encyclopedia of Cars
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Caterham

Caterham

Caterham - the famous British brand producing legendary sports cars. For 40 years talented designer of sportcars Colin Chapman employed his researches for this production.

Once in 1973 the exclusive right to Lotus 7 production was purchased by Caterham Cars Ltd. (Lotus dealer), the car was named as Caterham Super Seven. Caterham Cars company continued to improve "seven" model and tried to save its unique spirit. For some models carbon fibers were applied. This is a material which has become the new choice of chassis for "Formula 1".

MG Rover company, the largest British carmaker, in conjunction with Caterham Cars signed a partnership agreement under which Rover engines are supposed to be mounted at the Caterham car. Now all Caterham cars of 2002 model year will use engines of K-Series, including 1.4 -, 1.6 - and 1.8-liter engines, ranging from 105 to 230 horsepowers. By the way, the most powerful, 230-horsepowers engine will be installed on the Caterham Superlight R500.

As part of the same agreement Caterham Cars has the right to use the XPOWER brand, which is used by MG Rover cars involved in racing and touring rally.

Superlight top series differ by lighter bodies and highly accelerated engines. R300, R400 and R500 cars have the same 1.8 liter engine, but at the same time develop the 160, 200 and 230 hp power respectively.

Use of plastic outer body panels instead of aluminum allowed reducing mass of the most powerful version and keeping it within the limits of 460 kg. Thus, the specific power of the car makes 500 hp per tonne. Even famous supercars such as Ferrari and Lamborghini can not reach such parameters.

For acceleration up to 100 km/h R500 Caterham Superlight needs 3.4 seconds, but the maximum speed on the sport's standards, is not very high - 241 km/h. It happens because of bad aerodynamic influence caused by wheels mounted outside body.

Thus, Caterham company that issues legendary Lotus Seven roadsters introduced a completely updated model range for 2002.

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