Sure the garden variety Caterham Seven is fast, but what if you want to smoke your buddy the shah's Bugatti Veyron on the cheap? Enter the Caterham Seven RS. Caterham has joined up with speed freaks RS Performance to bring to life a real fire breathing bug killer. RS will be dropping its race proven 40-valve, 2.4 liter RST-V8 into the fully massaged carbon fiber and space frame Seven chassis. That engine will be available in supercharged form up to 500 hp (coming in at 10,000 rpm - wow!). With the whole assembly clocking in at 500 kilos, the Caterham Seven RS will sport a 1000 hp per tonne power to weight ratio - besting the Veyron - all at a price of £115,000. Full raft of details and the spec sheet below the fold.
Caterham announces official performance arm: powerhouse V8 engine delivers 1,000 plus bhp-per-tonne
For those wanting an expression of British sportscar exclusivity, Caterham Cars has joined forces with RS Performance to offer the ultimate in bespoke Seven coachbuilding. Caterham has long been the epitome of personalised motoring with almost every version of the 12,000 Sevens on the road differing from one another. The joint venture takes that famous philosophy to an altogether new level.
RS Performance is an exclusive, niche engineering house. Born out of the passion and pedigree of its founder, Russell Savory, it will offer an 'everything is possible' service to Caterham customers wanting cars truly 'built to order'.
Using the motorsport-honed Caterham chassis and benchmark technology as a cosmetic and engineering base, RS Performance, will "turn imagination into reality," says Savory.
The heartbeat of every RS-monikered Seven will be the unique RST-V8 engine. With more than 16 years of development behind it by Russell Savory, the 40-valve, 2.4 litre engine reliably delivers an incredible 400bhp in normally aspirated mode, or over 500bhp as a supercharged varient, whilst weighing only 90kg in full running gear.
The unbridled lightness of the RST-V8 matched to the already featherweight Seven chassis delivers a power-to-weight ratio of over 1000bhp per tonne - more than double of a Bugatti Veyron. This unique partnership will be open to customers looking for the ultimate in exclusivity, and carry a price tag to reflect the tailoring, detail and hand-built craftsmanship that will go into every RS-badged Caterham.
Validation of the engineering house's abilities comes in the form of the supercharged 'Levante'. This is the first Seven to rollout of RS Performance's Hertfordshire doors and which only seven more of this type will be available.
With a 12 week waiting time and costing over £115,000, this supercharged engineering masterpiece boasts a modern interpretation of the Seven's classic looks with a sophisticated electronics package with traction and launch control to help get the phenomenal power to the floor. Weight reduction runs throughout the car, from the carbon fibre interior finished with Kevlar seats down to the hosing used on the cooling systems
The RS Performance badge will sit alongside the established, and soon to be expanded, Ford powered Caterham Seven range.
"Caterham and Russell Savory have a long history, and this seemed a natural progression of that relationship and shared engineering philosophy," explained Ansar Ali, Caterham Cars managing director.
RS Performance RST-V8 Engine Technical Specification
Configuration 90° V8
Capacity 2.4 litre
Construction Aluminium main frame with dry sump
Max Power 380 bhp @10,000rpm / 500+bhp @ 10,000rpm (supercharged)
Max Torque 190 lbsft @ 8500rpm / 300 lbsft@ 8500rpm (supercharged)
Overall length 45.6mm
Overall width 45.6mm
Service intervals 8000 miles (minor) / 30,000 miles (major service & belt change)
RS Performance 'Levante' Technical Specification
Price £115,000 (dependent on specification)
Chassis Caterham SV
Engine 2.4-litre, 40-valve RST-V8 supercharged
Max Power 500+bhp @ 10,000rpm
Max Torque 300 lbsft @ 8500rpm
Supercharge boost 0.8 psi
Gearbox 6-speed sequential, paddle shift option
0-60mph (claimed) Less than 3 seconds
Top Speed 150mph (limited)
Overall length 3530mm
Overall width 1685mm
Weight From 520kgs
Suspension de Dion rear, Nitron 3-way adjustable shocks all corners
Wheels Image Billet; front 8 x 15, rear 10 x 15
Tyres Avon CR500; front 195/45-15, rear 245/40-15
Brakes Hi Spec; front 280mm vented, rear 260mm.
Exhaust system BTB 2 x 4-2-1 rear exit
Dashboard Farringdon and SPA design
Driver aids Traction Control, Launch Control
Additional Two day driver training course provided on delivery of vehicle