Click above for a high-res image of the new Caterham R300

Caterham has revised its best-selling Superlight R300, dropping the old Rover mill in favor of a Ford Duratec and pulling a few tricks from its range-topping R500.

The new R300's 2.0-liter four-pot is putting out 175 hp at 7,000 rpm and 139 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels through a six-speed gearbox. With only 1,135 pounds weighing the R300 down – giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 339 hp per ton – it can scoot to sixty in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 140 mph. Available in both build-it-yourself form for £24,995 (or £27,995 complete from the factory), the kit includes everything you need to get on the road, along with a flush-button dash and keyless ignition system pulled from its big-bro the R500. Avon CR500 tires are wrapped around Superlight aluminum wheels, and for those destined for the track, you can option the R300 up with a Stack data logging system, dry-sump oil kit and limited-slip differential.

Caterham has also revised its Roadsport 175 model, a more tame version packing a five-speed transmission with longer gear ratios, 14-inch wheels and a heater. The cost of entry for the 175 comes in at £21,995 in kit form and £24,995 built at the factory. Both models can also be had in "wide chassis" guise for an additional £1,750. We'll take one of each, equipped with the LSD option.


Brand new Superlight R300 to return in 2009

Caterham's famous 'Superlight' family is now complete with the British manufacturer releasing details of a new generation of its Superlight R300.

Following in the rear tyre tracks of the motorsport derived R400 and R500, the latest Seven punches from 0-to-60mph in 4.5 seconds courtesy of a new 2.0-litre Ford Duratec engine, tuned by Caterham Powertrain (CPT) to deliver a responsive 175bhp.

Originally launched in 2002 and fitted with a Rover engine, the previous R300 was Caterham's best-selling Seven thanks to an addictive character fuelled by its perfect blend of performance and driving pleasure. The new Ford-powered model builds on this platform with increased engine performance and chassis developments, all whilst retaining the R300's winning personality.

The latest 515kg interpretation of Colin Chapman's famous 'lightweight minimalist' philosophy beautifully balances power and chassis to perfection, delivering an impressive 339bhp-per-tonne.

Among many developments, the new R300 benefits from styling cues and technical evolutions first seen on its 'big brother' – the explosive Superlight R500 – with the addition of a similar flush button dash design and keyless ignition system, fitted as standard.

Amongst a wide range of optional extras, hardened enthusiasts will also be able to add Stack data logging instrumentation, a dry sump oil system and, for track-day regulars, a limited slip differential.

Translated through Caterham's proven 6-speed gearbox, the 2.0-litre powerplant's 175bhp and 139 lbs-ft of torque is able to spin the R300's bespoke Avon CR500-shod Superlight aluminium wheels to a top speed of 140mph.

With more power, more torque and more immediacy, the Superlight R300 will start at £24,995 in component form and £27,995 factory built with delivery starting in spring 2009.

Further expanding the range to offer customers a wider range of choice is the addition of another new Seven – the Roadsport 175.

Despite being fitted with the hugely capable Series 3 chassis and utilising the same 175bhp, 2.0-litre Caterham Powertrain (CPT) Duratec engine fitted to the R300, the new Roadsport is aimed at drivers largely focused on B-Road blasts and touring.

The Roadsport trades its more track focussed features, such as lashings of carbon fibre and track-biased suspension and brakes, to come fitted with weather equipment and a heater as standard. Other differences to the R300 include a 5-speed gearbox with longer ratios and 14-inch alloy wheels.

The new Roadsport 175 model bolsters the incredibly popular Roadsport range alongside the 1600cc Ford Sigma driven 125 and 150 – numerically reflective of their respective power output.

Prices for the Roadsport 175 start at £21,995 in component form and £24,995 for factory built.

Both the R300 and Roadsport 175 are available in a SV 'wide chassis' version, costing an additional £1,750.

The Headline Numbers

Caterham Superlight R300 – from £24,995
Powerplant 2.0-litre Caterham Powertrain (CPT) Duratec
Max Power (bhp/rpm) 175bhp @ 7000rpm
Max Torque (lbs ft/rpm) 139 lbs-ft @ 6000rpm
Weight 515kg
0-60mph 4.5 seconds
Power-to-weight 339 bhp-per-tonne
Top Speed 140mph

Caterham Roadsport 175 – from £21,995
Engine 2.0-litre Caterham Powertrain (CPT) Duratec
Max Power (bhp/rpm) 175bhp @ 7000rpm
Max Torque (lbs ft/rpm) 139 lbs-ft @ 6000rpm
Weight 550kg
0-60mph 4.8 seconds
Power-to-weight 318 bhp-per-tonne
Top Speed 138mph

Caterham Superlight R300 Specification

Standard equipment

* 2.0-litre Caterham Powertrain (CPT) Duratec engine
* 6 Speed Caterham gearbox
* Superlight Suspension (wide track front and de Dion rear with Watts linkages)
* Carbon fibre dashboard
* Carbon fibre aero whiskers
* Carbon fibre front wings
* Superlight switchgear
* Ventilated front brake discs with Quad piston callipers
* 15" Superlight alloy wheels with Avon CR500 tyres
* Composite wind deflector
* Four-point Harnesses
* Quick-release Momo Steering Wheel
* Keyless ignition
* Immobiliser
* Composite seats
* Black pack


* ACES change-up lights
* Lowered floors
* Limited Slip Differential
* Dry sump oil system
* Weather gear
* Leather seats
* Trackday roll bar
* Carbon fibre nose cone
* Carbon fibre rear wings
* Data logging Stack Dash instrumentation
* Heater
* Track day roll bar
* Battery Master Switch
* Interim Catalyst bypass pipe*
* Full roll cage

*Track use only

Close Ratio 6 Speed
1st: 2.69:1
2nd: 2.01:1
3rd: 1.59:1
4th: 1.32:1
5th: 1.13:1
6th 1.00:1
Final Drive: 3.62:1

Front: Adjustable double wishbone with roll bar
Rear: De Dion axle located by lower A-frame and Watts linkage

Twin circuit split front/rear with low level warning system. Discs front and rear

Rack and pinion, 1.93 turns lock to lock

Wheels and Tyres
Front 7J x 15"
Rear 7J x 15"
Superlight aluminium wheels with Avon CR500 tyres.

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