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Caterham's RS Levante sold out

2008-10-17 07:49
 Building lightweight, mad, performance cars is no

Building lightweight, mad, performance cars is nothing new to Caterham, though this ‘thing’ – the 373kW RS Levante – is the craziest four-wheeled bike they’ve ever built. To add to the comedy eight people have paid £115 000 to drive them home.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Caterham
Model Levante RS
Engine 2.4l, 40v, supercharged V8
Power 373kW @ 10 000r/min
Torque 407Nm @ 8 500r/min
Transmission Six-speed manual
Zero To Hundred 3 seconds
Top Speed 250km/h
Weight 520kg
Custodian of the legendary ‘Seven’ lightweight sportscar moniker – Caterham – have sold all eight of its 373kW RS Levante models.

Representing the ultimate in bespoke, lightweight road racing technology, the Levante is built on something resembling a Caterham Seven chassis.

Russell Savory’s RS Performance engineering concern bolts an epic 2.4l, 40-valve supercharged V8 into the 520kg chassis, resulting in a 735kW/tonne power to weight ratio – which Bugatti Veyron owners might find a touch disconcerting.

Small, superlative V8

Savory has spent the last sixteen years perfecting the diminutive V8 engine with its five-valve, double-overhead camshaft valve gear and mass of only 95kg.

With each cylinder only displacing 300cc, the RS sourced V8 revs to engine speeds of 10 000r/min, producing 373kW and 407Nm at a heady torque peak of 8 500r/min.

Performance is resolutely insane with three second flat 0-100km/h acceleration times, and superbike roll-on acceleration through the six-speed manual gearbox.

Though the DeDion rear axle is hardly the last word in 21st century suspension sophistication it is tempered by a double-wishbone set-up up front, dampened by Nitron 3-way adjustable shock absorbers all round.

Retro Indy racer looks

It looks like a 1950s Indy 500 racer too, with the side-pipes and cross-drilled heat shields.

There is no mistaking the engine configuration from the front either as the grille is adorned with a huge ‘V8’ sign, and to round off the racing inspired front styling treatment there’s a radical carbon-fibre spoiler and two sets of triple headlights.

With Kevlar seats and a carbon-fibre interior the price tag sits uncomfortably at £115 000, and credit crunch or not, all eight were spoken for in March this year and have now been built and delivered.

Lightweight performance car enthusiasts need not despair though, as RS performance will be working closely with Caterham concerning the development of its new line of Ford powered, rear-wheel drive performance cars.

Considering you can buy a new 911 GT3 for less, Caterham has charged an amazing price for what is essentially a superbike with four wheels and unwittingly suicidal tendencies. One simply has to doff a hat to the commitment of those eight individuals who have taken ownership of their Levante RS cars - or are they four-wheeled bikes?


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