Caterham spots a gap, goes for it

We make it the 10th Caterham spun off the long-serving Seven. You'll be hard pressed to spot a missing niche within the Dartford firm's line-up, but it's found one and launched the Supersport R to cover it.

This installs the two-litre Ford Duratec engine in place of the 1.6-litre Sigma unit in the standard Supersport to create a faster version of what the firm describes as a 'track-oriented road car'.

The Supersport mini-range slots in above the Roadsport and below the frenetic Superlight R300 (or rather, replaces it. See below for the update), both of which are also offered with the two-litre engine.

Power from 182hp Ford 2.0-litre
Power from 182hp Ford 2.0-litre
In this guise it costs £27,995 fully built and makes 182hp - up 5hp on the other two-litre cars - to record a 4.8-second sprint to 60mph according to the firm.

Equipment includes a limited slip-diff, four-point race harnesses, composite seats, 'race dampers' and a push-button start. It also comes with the Supersport half doors and aero screen.

In a statement Caterham boss Graham Macdonald described it as "well-balanced, satisfying and fun in terms of the driving experience it offers". Although the same could be said of all Caterham's range.

The launch marks a welcome reminder after all the hoopla of the Renault link-up that Caterham is a supplier of bare-bones, lightweight machines fitting an original description of the term sports car.

Please, have fun playing around with Renault and Alpine in creating a new range, but we're sincerely looking forward to writing about the 21st version of a Caterham 'Seven' here in 2018.

Update: What Caterham neglected to tell us was that the new Supersport R actually replaces the Superlight R300.

According to Caterham's PR company: "You can technically still buy a Superlight R300, but they feel you'd be mad to given the Supersport R ticks the same boxes."

The Superlight R300 was more expensive as £30,995 built, but as someone below points out, the Supersport R doesn't get the six-speeder.


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