Caterham is famed for producing some of the fastest cars in the world, but what about one capable of returning 131 miles per gallon?
That’s exactly what a modified Caterham Seven achieved at the recent Shell Eco-Marathon at Rockingham.
Customised by carbon fibre specialist Axon Automotive, with the support of Energy-Efficient Motorsport (EEMS), the standard Caterham Seven Roadsport 1.6-litre K Series used enhanced aerodynamics, new lightweight seating, narrow low rolling resistance tyres and economic driving techniques to ensure it maximised every drop of fuel. The sportscar smashed the team’s initial 100mpg target.
The Shell Eco-Marathon is an annual competition to determine the car with the greatest fuel economy after 40 minutes driving and seven laps of the track at a minimum of 15mph. Each entry must meet strict safety requirements and drive using as little petrol, LPG, diesel or hydrogen as possible.
Axon Automotive project leader, Dr Steve Cousins comments: "We are showing that careful driving and relatively simple modifications to conventional cars can lead to significant fuel savings. Significantly the Caterham 2R was the only car in the competition that was moulded from a road-legal vehicle."