Caterham has released the first official photos of the fastest of the company’s Series 7 cars, the Superlight R600. This racing variant of the Seven line will, according to the British lightweight sportscar maker, “represent the top echelon of the Caterham racing spectrum” in the Superlight R600 Championship from 2013.
The Superlight R600 is a pure denizen of the track. The most obvious clue to this is the massive roll bar that clutters the classic Seven lines. It lacks such frills as headlamps, turn indicators or any of that other street-legal paraphernalia, and the tires are Avon radial slicks or wets, so this is not a car you’re going to see nipping round to the shops on the weekend.
Not many details about the Superlight R600 have been released, but Caterham has said that the R600 is rear-wheel drive with a power plant derived from the SP/300R sports prototype – in this case, a supercharged two-liter four-cylinder Ford Duratec that pumps 275 bhp (205 kW) into the famously minimalist sportscar.
The first Seven to use forced induction, it commands 200 foot-pounds (271.16 Nm), which is 13 percent more than the Superlight R500. It has a six-speed, sequential gearbox and a Titan limited-slip differential. No performance data has been released, but it probably does better than 150 mph (241.4 km/hr). How it accelerates or handles remains to be seen.
"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," said Simon Lambert, Caterham’s Chief Motorsport and Technical Officer. "The R600 represents an increase in aggressiveness, although the linear power delivery of the supercharged engine makes it superbly driveable, much like the R300.”
The R600 is available as a new car, or R300 owners can order an upgrade. It is expected to sell for £44,995 (US$72,290).