Caterham’s new Superlight R400 is a part of a range that are the successors to the original Lotus Seven by Colin Chapman launched 50 years ago. The 400 in the Superlight R400 refers to it’s massive 400 horsepower per tonne power to weight ratio, thanks to it’s Caterham-tuned Ford Duratec 2.0 litre engine putting out 210 horsepower at 7,800rpm and it’s stripped down 525kg weight. Thanks to this power to weight ratio, those 210 horses take the Superlight R400 from 0 to 100km/h in less than 3.8 seconds! This engine is much more powerful than the K-Series engine used in the previous Superlight. You shift through 6 gear ratios (Caterham’s own design), and power is sent trashing through the rear wheels with a De Dion setup LSD differential.
The new chassis tubes are precision laser-cut and are jig-welded by a Panasonic robot and is an all-new design, tweaked to offer 12% more rigidity, thus increasing grip, feedback, resulting in an increased ability to get faster lap times around the track. The rear suspension has also been improved with 30 changes to the dampers, as well as optimization to the anti-roll bars and road springs.
Check out this video of a Caterham-clone car going around an autocross track. It is not a real Caterham but one of those home-built clones. Nevertheless, a spectacular performance.
More photos after the jump.