2011 Caterham SP/300R news, pictures, and information
Caterham opens exciting new chapter in its history• British sportscar maker unveils its first sports prototype racer
• Design input from Lola and state-of-the-art Ford power
• Supercharged Ford Duratec power to generate 0-60mph in around 2.5 seconds
Caterham Cars has opened an exciting new chapter in its 50-year history wîth the release of its first ever sports prototype racing car for a new one-make series and the trackday community.
Únveiled at the Autosport International Show (Birmingham, ÚK), the Caterham-Lola SP/300R is a major new addition to sit alongside the legendary Seven, yet remains true to its lightweight, minimalist DNA to deliver all the thrills of driving a fast, but confidence-inspiring, sportscar.
Created in partnership wîth another iconic British engineering brand, Lola Cars, the aesthetically-sensitive sports prototype will also feature the debut of Caterham Motorsport's new supercharged version of the Ford Duratec power plant, expected to produce around 300bhp.
Caterham is in the final stages of development of the powertrain and handling characteristics of the car, in readiness for a one-make championship to start in 2012, while the feasibility of a road-legal version of the car is also being considered.
Only 25 SP/300Rs will be manufactured each year, allowing Caterham to focus on enhancing the build quality of every vehicle and maximising its renowned one-to-one customer service.
The car will provide the 'top end' natural progression for Caterham's already successful domestic and international racing 'ladder'. It will also provide the blossoming premium trackday community – both home and abroad - wîth a potent new model.
Bearing subtle design cues from the Seven, the first new model from Caterham since the 21 road car reproduces the Company's core motorsport values of affordability, reliability and accessibility.
With Lola, as technical design consultant, leading the aerodynamic styling and downforce development in collaboration wîth Caterham's design direction, the Seven's engineers have been responsible for developing the power plant, braking system and making sure the two-seater's renowned ride and handling characteristics are firmly transferred into the SP/300R.
While the global expansion of the Seven's motor racing activity will continue unabated, the SP/300R will allow Caterham's loyal clientele to move further up the performance racing 'ladder' without having to leave the proven expertise and 'value for money' of the Company's motorsport infrastructure.
'Motorsport is not only part of the history of Caterham, it's been the lifeblood running through the character of our vehicles – race cars for the road,' explains Ansar Ali, managing director of Caterham Cars. 'Today, racing is not only the heartbeat of the business, it's an intrinsic part of our fabric both here and abroad and the SP/300R represents the next logical step in the development of our product offering.'
DrivetrainThe beating heart of the SP/300R will be a Caterham-tuned, supercharged version of Ford's 2.0L Duratec unit, which will produce 300bhp.
The Company's long-standing relationship wîth Ford continues to allow Caterham's engineers unparalleled technical access to the Ford range of engines. Today, Ford products power the entire range of Caterham cars, from the entry-level Roadsport through the entire Superlight collection.
Caterham's engineers have chosen the supercharged Duratec wîth its drivers in mind. As wîth all Caterham products, the driving experience is at the core of the SP/300R's design.
The supercharged induction module has therefore been chosen for its linear torque delivery across the entire engine speed range, which is perfectly-matched to the lightweight architecture of the car.
The Duratec unit is well-known to Caterham's engineers and already boasts a proven track record as a resilient engine that is cost-effective for customers to run, while other offerings feature a more 'all or nothing' character and require further refinement before Caterham will consider using them.
Caterham has worked alongside partners such as Pectel to deliver a highly-developed package that will reward drivers wîth advanced data logging and features such as 'push to pass' power enhancement and an integrated semi-automatic gearshift control.
The SP/300R will be capable of being adapted to suit alternative engines but the factory-fit engine will offer unrivalled levels of reliability – together wîth a perfectly-matched Hewland semi-automatic FTR transmission, Caterham aims to reproduce the enormously-durable drivetrain solution that has been so successful in the Superlight R300 series, where engine rebuilds are virtually unnecessary.
The rich racing heritage of the Caterham Seven and Caterham's motorsport expertise will ensure the success of the Company's expansion into sports prototype racing.
However to achieve that end, Caterham has teamed up wîth the world's leading manufacturer of customer race cars, Lola Cars. Its expertise, particularly in the sports racing category, was invaluable in the creation and styling of a bespoke chassis that forms the basis of the SP/300R.
With the styling aerodynamically, rather than aesthetically led, the SP/300R has been designed using Lola's state-of-the-art CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) technology, wîth input and critique from Caterham.
The basic chassis is an aluminium tub wîth a longitudinally mid-mounted engine, coupled to a stress-bearing rear transaxle. A forward splitter and large rear wing reduce lift, while a flat underbody maximises ground effect benefits.
A broad aero platform generates optimal downforce and balance, while the aerodynamic performance is fine-tuned by ducts and dive-planes. The SP/300R bodywork also features an F1-style raised nose section and sectioned panels, which will help reduce repair costs, ease maintenance and, importantly, allow single-handed removal of body panels track-side.
Caterham's research suggests that most sports prototypes in today's market require more than one person to assist in the removal of body panels, e.g. oil check, set-up, etc; the SP/300R will be the only sports prototype that offers this unique, flexible and yet convenient feature.
The car also takes subtle design cues from the instantly-recognisable Caterham Seven; for instance, the Seven's grille shape appears beneath the raised nose of the SP/300R.
The pairing of Lola's world-beating aerodynamic package wîth the Ford engine will produce a car that will easily meet the desires of Caterham customers, whether they are seeking their first serious step into sports prototype racing or the ultimate trackday machine.
The supercharged Duratec's 300bhp will propel the sub-600kg car from 0-60mph in around 2.5 seconds, translating into 500bhp-per-tonne, excluding the driver.
The gearing of the car has been selected to reach maximum rpm in top gear at the end of Spa-Francorchamps circuit's Kemmel Straight, chosen as it is one of the more frequently-visited race and trackday venues. Top speed will be around 170mph.
The SP/300R will benefit from full race suspension – front and rear dual wishbones wîth pushrod dampers, adjustable ride height and bespoke wheels and tyres will all make for a race car of exquisite balance and stability.
The rear suspension architecture is derived from that used at the rear end of the Lola Formula 3 and World Junior cars – coupled wîth the high downforce generated by the aerodynamic package, this will be a direct and rewarding race car to drive.
Wheels & Tyres
|Engine : 2.0 L., 2-cylinder|
Power: 200 hp
Cooper Tire provides tyres for the British Formula 3 International Series, acknowledged as the toughest domestic single-seater championship in the world and a recognised 'stepping stone' to Formula 1. The SP/300R's tyres are fitted to 13-inch race rims.
Measuring a muscular 250mm wide at the rear, and 180mm at the front, the tyres have been specifically designed to cope wîth vast engine torque married to a lightweight chassis.
Naturally, the SP/300R has been built to comply wîth MSA safety regulations. The main component of the safety system is an FIA-approved roll cage, which has been designed specifically for the car and incorporated into the styling schemes.
The chassis has also been designed as a race chassis wîth the requisite crash structures. Other components include the six-point harness, fire extinguisher, cut-off switch and so on.
In keeping wîth the SP/300R's stature as a premium race product, Caterham has selected fixings and fittings of a very high quality.
These include the §teering wheel, which incorporates data display (Stack/MOMO), wheels (ATS, Speedline or OZ), brakes (AP Racing) and driver's harness (Schroth).
With Caterham's vastly rich heritage in motorsport - both domestically and internationally - it is no surprise to find that Caterham Motorsport is planning a prestigious one-make series in which the SP/300R will star.
The details of its own championship are yet to be finalised, but the SP/300R series will initially focus on ÚK circuits, wîth the potential addition of one round abroad.
However, the projected success of the cornerstone debut season is expected to make the SP/300R and its race series eminently marketable further afield in Europe, which will provide a major boost to Caterham's already thriving export market.
Caterham has proven over the last 25 years that it is expert in producing and managing world-class motor racing championships and events.
The Company's motorsport 'ladder' provides a cost-effective, easy-to-run solution for drivers of any ability to get into racing, from complete novices wîth the Academy series to the Superlight R300 for seasoned semi-professionals.
The Caterham Academy, which takes novice non-racers through the process of getting their race licence to enjoying their first season of competitive action, has become one of the ÚK domestic scene's lynch pins, creating around 750 brand new racing drivers since its inception in 1995.
It is the proven organisational expertise and infrastructure that will run the new one-make championship for the SP/300R, starting in 2012.
The Caterham-Lola SP/300R is priced at £60,000, excluding local taxes.Source - Caterham
ALMS CHAMPION TEAM NAMED US DISTRIBUTOR FOR CATERHAM SP/300.RLeading American sportscar team, Dyson Racing, will act as ÚS distributor for the new Caterham-Lola SP/300.R sports prototype when the first of the brand new race and trackday cars lands in the States early next year.
Caterham Cars appointed the newly-crowned American Le Mans Series (ALMS) LMP1 champion team as its official ÚS distributor. The two companies share a mutual partnership wîth Lola Cars. Dyson Racing's relationship wîth Lola Cars dates back over two decades.
Dyson Racing is one of the most successful and longest-running privateer race teams in America, having competed in IMSA GTO and GTP, SCCA Trans-Am, GRAND-AM, CART and Indy Lights championships since its inception in 1974.
Dyson, which sealed the 2011 ALMS LMP1 Drivers and Team championships on September 17, will receive its demonstration car early in 2012, wîth customer cars being delivered Stateside from Spring onwards.
Team Vice President and Sporting Director, Chris Dyson, said: 'Dyson Racing is pleased to partner wîth Caterham as the exclusive importer of the SP/300.R for the Únited States. Trackday driving is a rapidly-growing phenomenon in America and this car will be ideal for the many enthusiasts who enjoy this aspect of the sport.
'There's no car company more dedicated to producing cars that are pure fun to drive than Caterham and we expect that owners of high-end road cars who have been running them on the track will find they have more fun driving the SP/300.R while spending less money.'
For the Ú.S. market, the SP/300.R represents a three-way partnership between Caterham Cars, Lola Cars and Dyson Racing. Principal design and manufacturing of the car is done by Caterham wîth engineering input from Lola. Ú.S. cars will be manufactured to specifications appropriate to that market, wîth final assembly taking place at Dyson Racing's facility in Poughkeepsie, NY, north of New York City.
'Dyson Racing's relationship wîth Lola goes back more than 25 years,' Dyson noted. 'While our partnership wîth Caterham is a new one, we are confident that this triumvirate will provide our clients in America wîth a great car and unparalleled service.'
Caterham Cars' International Business Development Manager, David Ridley, said: 'We are delighted to be working wîth a partner as established and successful in the global motorsport arena as Dyson Racing. Their expertise in the ÚS market is exactly what we need to make the SP/300.R as much of a success in America as it has been in Europe so far.'
The 300bhp supercharged Caterham-Lola SP/300.R was launched at the Autosport International show at Birmingham's NEC in January this year and customer orders to date have been strong.
Dyson continued: 'The SP/300.R is an amazing car. It mirrors the technology and the appearance of the Lola Le Mans prototypes that our team campaigns in the American Le Mans Series, but has been carefully designed to be affordable.
'Over the past four decades, we've mastered the ins and outs of importing cars and spares from overseas; perfected the process of making certain a car is ready for the track before it leaves our facility; and learned how efficiently to support a car trackside. We understand that our clients will need differing levels of support and Dyson Racing is well-prepared to provide whatever they require.'
For more information about the Caterham SP/300.R please visit http://www.caterham-spr.com/. ÚS-based customers should contact Dyson Racing – visit www.dysonracing.com or contact Steve Potter on email@example.com.Source - Caterham
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