Caterham R500 production ends

The last of the line Caterham Superlight R500 has rolled out of Dartford

The last-of-the-line Caterham Superlight R500 has rolled out of Dartford, the British carmaker bringing a close to the high performance Seven's production. Labelled as the "ultimate Seven" by our own Jethro Bovingdon, the R500 accelerates from 0-60 in 2.9sec.

A total of 174 Superlight R500s have been sold since production began in 2008, with almost half of those headed overseas to countries like Japan, Italy, Germany and France. As a car that essentially epitomised the Colin Chapman philosophy for lightweight sports cars, the R500 remains one of the fastest sports cars ever to grace public roads.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

Producing 263bhp from its 2-litre four-cylinder Ford Duratec engine, the 506kg Superlight has a power-to-weight ratio of 528bhp per ton - more than the Bugatti Veyron. A traditional six-speed manual gearbox is fitted.

The new Caterham 620R is ultimately faster, but with a sequential gearbox it arguably loses a little of the purity that trickled down from the first ever Seven, something the R500 managed to cling onto.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Such are the talents of the R500, that Caterham hosts a racing series for the car. Called the Superlight R500 Series, the fact the cars race essentially in road spec shows how much of a road going racer they are from the off.

Though production has ended, the legacy of the R500 will certainly live on. As Caterham Group CEO, Graham Macdonald puts it, ‘if Caterham wasn’t already firmly on the map as one of the world’s best-known British sports car makers, the R500 certainly helped us to cement that position.’


Most Popular

Toyota Yaris

Toyota GR Yaris revealed in full – return of the homologation special

One of most sought after hot hatchbacks of 2020 has finally been revealed: the Toyota GR Yaris
10 Jan 2020
Subaru Levorg

2020 Subaru Levorg STI prototype revealed at Tokyo Auto Salon

Proving there’s still life in Subaru’s STI performance sub-brand, the Levorg has benefited from some tweaks
13 Jan 2020
Honda Civic Type-R

New 2020 Honda Civic Type R makes debut at Tokyo Auto Salon

Honda has released the first images of the revised Civic Type R that’s being shown for the first time in Tokyo
10 Jan 2020
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019