Caterham has added to its iconic range of Sevens, giving the acclaimed Supersport a steroid-induced brother – the two-litre Supersport R, which packs 180bhp and track-bred dynamics.
Like the standard Supersport, the new edition has many circuit-orientated performance essentials, but gains a bigger engine and a five-speed gearbox to boost outright performance significantly.
Designed to sit immediately above its 1.6-litre sibling in the Seven range, the new adaptation’s 2-litre Ford Duratec engine has proven its durability and performance on the track, having been developed during three years in Caterham’s R300 race championship.
Competitively priced at £24,995 (incl tax) in self-build form or £27,995 fully-built, the new model benefits particularly in mid-range ‘punch’ and features a 25% power increase on the Supersport, as well as 5bhp more than the R300 road car.
Caterham Cars announced a bold new joint venture engineering partnership this week with Renault, which will result in a range of brand new vehicles, starting with an ambitious ‘everyday’ sportscar that will deliver the brand’s ‘accessible fun’ philosophy to new markets. But the Supersport R shows the firm’s continuing commitment to develop the iconic Seven, which it has been engineering and building for nearly 40 years.
Caterham Cars’ Chief Executive, Graham Macdonald, said: “The Supersport’s formula has struck a chord with driving enthusiasts and we are confident that, by extending the range to include an R model, we will be able to build on the original’s success.
“The performance of the car is very impressive but, teamed with the accessibility of the suspension specification that works so effortlessly on the road and track on the base model, it is well-balanced, satisfying and fun in terms of the driving experience it offers.”
The front-mounted Caterham-developed Ford Duratec engine pairs up with a limited-slip differential to further enhance its performance credentials.
Meanwhile, grippy Avon CR500 tyres, Supersport dampers and race springs ensure the car’s handling is highly-focussed but still supple enough for the road.
Weighing just 535kg, the new vehicle extends the Supersport line, which already includes road and track versions of the 1.6-litre model.
Inside the cabin, a bespoke Supersport steering wheel, integrated change-up light, composite race seats and four-point race harnesses complete the track-inspired experience. Naturally, an aero screen comes as standard.
The Supersport R’s DNA stems from the Caterham Supersport Championship, which is the fourth rung of its motorsport ‘ladder’ and is Caterham’s fastest-growing series.