Caterhams have always been the model for minimalist motoring and it's rare that owners have been wanting for more motivation, but RS Performance has answered the call of a few owners that want insane power to match the Caterham's spartan looks.
Packing a supercharged 2.4-liter, V8 driving the rear wheels through a six-speed gearbox, RS Performance is giving well-heeled drivers 550 hp (at 10,000 rpm!) to simultaneously dry their hair and wet their pants. With a curb weight of almost 1,150 pounds, that means a power to weight ratio of around 1000 hp per ton and a 0-60 time of under three seconds.
Getting that grunt to the ground is difficult, at best. With the majority of the body panels being replaced with carbon fiber bits, along with an F1-style front splitter, steering wheel and Kevlar seats, the lack of mass is something drivers will have to overcome. Thankfully, the chassis, sticky rubber and traction/launch control should keep things in check.
If the £115,000 cost of entry for the supercharged version is a bit more than your wallet can bear, a naturally aspirated variant is available as well producing a "paltry" 380 hp. Included in the cost of the RST-V8 is a two-day driver training course when you take delivery. Good call Caterham.
The full press release with all the technical details is posted after the jump.
Caterham announces official performance arm:
powerhouse V8 engine delivers 1,000 plus bhp-per-tonne
For those wanting an expression of British sportscar exclusivity, Caterham Cars has joined forces with RS Performance to offer the ultimate in bespoke Seven coachbuilding.
Caterham has long been the epitome of personalised motoring with almost every version of the 12,000 Sevens on the road differing from one another. The joint venture takes that famous philosophy to an altogether new level.
RS Performance is an exclusive, niche engineering house. Born out of the passion and pedigree of its founder, Russell Savory, it will offer an 'everything is possible' service to Caterham customers wanting cars truly 'built to order'.
Using the motorsport-honed Caterham chassis and benchmark technology as a cosmetic and engineering base, RS Performance, will "turn imagination into reality," says Savory.
The heartbeat of every RS-monikered Seven will be the unique RST-V8 engine.
With more than 16 years of development behind it by Russell Savory, the 40-valve, 2.4 litre engine reliably delivers an incredible 400bhp in normally aspirated mode, or over 500bhp as a supercharged varient, whilst weighing only 90kg in full running gear.
The unbridled lightness of the RST-V8 matched to the already featherweight Seven chassis delivers a power-to-weight ratio of over 1000bhp per tonne – more than double of a Bugatti Veyron.
This unique partnership will be open to customers looking for the ultimate in exclusivity, and carry a price tag to reflect the tailoring, detail and hand-built craftsmanship that will go into every RS-badged Caterham.
Validation of the engineering house's abilities comes in the form of the supercharged 'Levante'. This is the first Seven to rollout of RS Performance's Hertfordshire doors and which only seven more of this type will be available.
With a 12 week waiting time and costing over £115,000, this supercharged engineering masterpiece boasts a modern interpretation of the Seven's classic looks with a sophisticated electronics package with traction and launch control to help get the phenomenal power to the floor. Weight reduction runs throughout the car, from the carbon fibre interior finished with Kevlar seats down to the hosing used on the cooling systems
The RS Performance badge will sit alongside the established, and soon to be expanded, Ford powered Caterham Seven range.
"Caterham and Russell Savory have a long history, and this seemed a natural progression of that relationship and shared engineering philosophy," explained Ansar Ali, Caterham Cars managing director.
RS Performance RST-V8 Engine Technical Specification
Aluminium main frame with dry sump
380 bhp @10,000rpm / 500+bhp @ 10,000rpm (supercharged)
190 lbsft @ 8500rpm / 300 lbsft@ 8500rpm (supercharged)
8000 miles (minor) / 30,000 miles (major service & belt change)
RS Performance 'Levante' Technical Specification
£115,000 (dependent on specification)
2.4-litre, 40-valve RST-V8 supercharged
500+bhp @ 10,000rpm
300 lbsft @ 8500rpm
6-speed sequential, paddle shift option
Less than 3 seconds
de Dion rear, Nitron 3-way adjustable shocks all corners
Image Billet; front 8 x 15, rear 10 x 15
Avon CR500; front 195/45-15, rear 245/40-15
Hi Spec; front 280mm vented, rear 260mm.
BTB 2 x 4-2-1 rear exit
Farringdon and SPA design
Traction Control, Launch Control
Two day driver training course provided on delivery of vehicle