Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Caterham 7 Superlight

The Caterham 7 traces it's roots directly to the 1957 Lotus 7, and like the Lotus it is also offered in kit form.  Not merely small, the 7 is lilliputian in comparison to a modern performance car.  Lotus' founder Colin Chapman was a fanatic for making cars as lightweight as possible and is quoted as saying  "Adding power makes you faster in the straights, subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere".  True to this maxim, the Caterham weights in at a paltry 1200 pounds.  Even when powered with relatively modest 4 cyl Ford engines, the Caterham is devastatingly quick and punches far above it's weight at the track.  The car pictured is a Caterham 7 CSR powered by a 260hp Cosworth tuned Ford, the CSR can hit 60mph in 3.1 seconds.  How much does "adding lightness" (another Chapman quote) pay off?  Well, this puny little car based on a 1957 design has the same power to weight ratio as the fastest production car in the world, the 1 Million Dollar, 987hp, 200 + mph, 16 Cylinder Bugatti Veyron.  The Diminutive 7 is banned from SCCA racing for being to fast (really) and is capable of running with true supercars.  Okay, comfortable, roomy and practical went out the door with the weight, but if you are looking for the most bang for your buck, this is it, just ask folks like Steve Tyler from Aerosmith and Jay Leno, both are Caterham owners.  Follow the link after the photo for a video of a 7 racing a Ducati motorcycle.  For more info : Caterham USA
Caterham vs. Ducati


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