We've followed the gestation of the Caparo T1 supercar ever since we first heard about the streetable F1 car being designed by a pair of ex-McLaren engineers. Caparo has announced that after only about a year and a half of development, the T1 will make its running debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in late June. Last year it attended Goodwood, but was only display and never moved under its own power. This year the car will charge up the 1.16-mile course with other classic and exotic cars that rarely come out and play in public.
To make the event extra special, Caparo has also announced that the car will be using a new engine that's larger and more powerful than the one initially announced. The original engine was going to be a supercharged 2.5L V8 that, when combined with the car's meager 1,100 curb weight, meant a 0-60 time of around 2.5 seconds. The new engine, however, is larger at a full 3.5 liters of displacement, and while Caparo doesn't divulge how much horsepower it produces, it does reveal the engine can produce 200bhp per liter of displacement. Do the math (carry the 1) and you get an estimated output of 700bhp.
Though the T1 won't be able to rival the Bugatti Veyron in terms of its luxurious accoutremont, Caparo's supercar will most definitely be able to spank it at a stoplight.
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Caparo T1 to make its 'debut in action' at Goodwood Festival of Speed
The much heralded Caparo T1 will make its first public appearance as a running car at the 15th Goodwood Festival of Speed. The T1 will be one of the star attractions at this world famous UK event, which will be held over the weekend of 22-24 June 2007.
The T1 will participate in the Goodwood hill climb; a 1.16 mile course running through the parkland grounds of Goodwood House and the principal attraction at the annual Festival of Speed. The car will make its 'debut in action' as part of the Sunday Times 'InGear' Supercar run.
The T1 will also be displayed as part of the Goodwood technology pavilion, a new feature at this key festival event in the motorsport social calendar. This is particularly relevant to the T1 as the display will help showcase Caparo's lightweight vehicle design capabilities.
The T1 is designed and produced by Caparo Vehicle Technologies, a new engineering design company created by the rapidly expanding Caparo group to provide advanced technology, materials engineering and design services to automotive, aerospace, defence, marine and motorsport clients.
"The Caparo T1 not only looks and performs like a Formula One car but it also helps us to demonstrate new and advanced technology to carmakers and automotive component suppliers," says operations director Ben Scott-Geddes.
"The same approach to aerodynamics, choice of materials and efficient design, which has allowed us to develop the T1, can be applied to create safe, affordable, fuel-efficient and lightweight family cars."
The T1 promises an astonishing 0-60mph time of 2.5 seconds and the closest experience yet to a Formula One race car on the track. With every cubic millimetre of the vehicle shaped solely by its functionality, its performance should prove as dramatic as it looks. The power is delivered by a Caparo V8 engine which can produce in excess of 550bhp in a car with an ultralight kerb weight of approximately 500kg; around one-third the mass of the average family saloon.
"This is 100kg lighter than a fully ballasted ready-to-race Formula One car," said Graham Halstead engineering director Caparo Vehicle Technologies. "It means the T1 can deliver a comparable power-to-weight ratio well in excess of 1,000bhp-per-tonne."
"Goodwood's Festival of Speed provides an ideal setting for the T1," said Sean Butcher commercial director Caparo Vehicle Technologies. "With more than 500 journalists, press photographers, TV channels and radio stations covering the event worldwide, the T1 will certainly be in the media spotlight – which seems appropriate as everyone wants to see how this car performs."
The Caparo T1 is an uncompromised high performance two-seater designed to give customers an affordable and reliable season on the track without incurring the extraordinary costs of running a real Formula One car. These highly exclusive £180,000 (excluding taxes) hand-built cars will be built for customers this year with the first being delivered in May.
Caparo T1 gets a brand new and more powerful engine
After 12 months of highly secretive development, the Caparo T1, which looks and performs like a Formula One car, will be launched in the summer with a new and more powerful engine than previously mooted. The higher specification is reflected in a launch price for the T1 of £180,000 plus taxes.
The bespoke lightweight, all aluminium V8 has a higher capacity of 3.5 litres and is now normally aspirated. The engine has a mass of less than 100kgs and can produce power outputs of up to 200bhp-per-litre. As the T1 will maintain its nominal 500kg kerb weight this means the potential for power-to-weight ratios far exceeding the 1,000bhp-per-tonne previously announced.
The Caparo V8 has been designed from scratch and is comparable to Formula One and Indy race car specifications. It will be built from parts sourced from within the Caparo group of companies and central to its concept is its ability to use alternative, sustainable fuels; a factor important to Caparo for future applications.
"This new engine allows us many exciting options for the future, both for the car and the company," said Richard Butler chief executive Caparo Vehicle Products. "It will further help us to implement the vehicle lightweight design philosophies necessary to reduce greenhouse gasses being sought by high volume carmakers."
Ben Scott-Geddes operations director at Caparo Vehicle Technologies and the car's co-designer added: "The new engine now delivers both the performance and reliability we're looking for in the T1, the two key factors vital to our customers when running this type of car."
Sean Butcher commercial director at Caparo Vehicle Technologies said: "Given the high engine output, increased power-to-weight ratio, advanced hybrid chassis design and ultra-efficient aerodynamics the T1 offers exceptional value for such an exclusive world class vehicle ... and quite extraordinary standards in performance, handling and safety."
The T1 car is designed and produced by Caparo Vehicle Technologies, a new engineering design company created by the rapidly expanding Caparo group to provide advanced technology, materials engineering and design services to automotive, motorsport and aerospace clients.