Now that ElReg is...
getting into geeky automotive reviews, they could employ Jeremy Clarkson. I understand he is available.
Maybe ElReg can get access to a nice track as well. You know lap tests and all that.
More power is always good, so the question is: how much better is the Caterham 270S than the Caterham 160 we reviewed a while back? The answer is "not a lot". And the real improvement isn’t the power, it’s the gearbox and the sound. This is surprising. Caterham nomenclature is based on power-to-weight ratios, with the car …
The pity is that being (once upon a time) a techy web site, you'd have thought they'd have made more of the Caterham kit options other than just mentioning that the "options" includes £3k for factory assembly. There's something the leeches at BMW haven't thought to charge extra for yet.
My heart's with self assembly, my head says "don't be an idiot!". Luckily for the head, my wallet doesn't presently have £16k for a hobby two seater.
Takes about two weeks to make one from kit. Friend did exactly that. Others can take much longer. Took me some months to make a Westfield 25 years ago, but that included sourcing a lot of parts myself. Caterham kits have most of the bits you need already.
My Locost still isn't finished and I started it over ten years ago. But then I did make the chassis and build the engine from bits. (ex. FFord engine, +60 overbore, twin dellorto 40's, stage 3 head, high lift cam etc).
Building these things is fun, unless you have children. When you never have time.
Buy the kit - much more fun, and you get to know the car.
I built mine about 8 years ago, and it took me about 2 months in evenings, weekends, and about 8 days off work. At the time they reckoned 80-100 hours for someone with basic engineering skills, and with everything being new it's all relatively easy - really big boy's Meccano (although with slightly fewer pictures than ideal in the build instructions).
I've still got the car and it still makes me smile when I drive it.
Way back when in the BC years (Before Children) I used to sprint someone else's historic racecar. Even without the capital outlay on the vehicle, I worked out that just the fuel, licence, and entry fees made it a more expensive hobby, in terms of "thrill minutes per pound" than a cocaine habit*. No idea how addictive cocaine actually is, but time on track certainly haunts you forever.
*Using figures from the Daily Mail for drug costs, before you ask.
I was secretary of the Austin Healey Card Club (New Forest) for a while. My brother had a Sprite IV with a 1340cc engine in it. That was fun auto testing.
Back then most Caterhams were kit-built and the motor was usually a donor Crossflow out of an old Escort.
Yep, it's the weight that makes it.
Brother in law has an R400 which he bought second hand for track day "playing" and it overtakes pretty much everything with ease. Porche's "best effort" racer for consumer purchase weighs 1.3 tons (that's the lightened version) and costs 3-4 times as much - it's very very hard to beat a Super 7 on power to weight without spending an awful lot of money.
It's basically grown-up cart racing ...
Depends on the weight. 80kW can make even 800kg go pretty good (especially with a suitable gearbox). I drive that regularly (got 2 of these - my old car, now SWMBOs, and a car we have abroad) and it rarely feels underpowered even when lugging 2 adults, 2 kids, 3 suitcases and a filler of bags, coolbox odds and sods up a 10 degree gradient.
100Kw in 500kg is manic driving territory.
Sorry guys. I was trying to be funny but I'm not even sure where the hell it was going.
Of course I'd jump at the opportunity to drive one of these! While my own car is slightly faster in a straight line and slightly cheaper it's never going to be as nice to throw around the track.
I ahve driven the original Lotus 7s with a couple of different engines, 1.6 crossflow and a donor from a Mk1Lotus Cortina, I still think even today, if you like driving there is nothing that will put flies on your teeth quicker this side of a GSXR750.
However last week I got to be a passenger in a KTM XBow, supercharged and with the KTM upgrade to somewherearound 460 GeeGees it was awsome the engine sound alone would make you wish you had compromising photos of your bank manager.
Although faster than a 7 I will still not rate it as having a bigger grin factor because it doesn't, also new it is about £80K this one was second hand as new for only £31K so it was a steal, the KTM is a lot sexier looking than the 7 but for the price it should be, if you get a chance for a spin in one, snatch the keys before the owner can change his mind.
I have been promised a drive in a couple of weeks time, I hope it happens.
I dreamt I was driving the blue one (the 160) and had struggled to get in with the roof on, then I'd been driving it for a bit and realised that the doors were missing and that someone must have stolen them when it was outside my house, and then I wondered how anyone would sell Caterham doors.
"R" is for Racing.
from the Caterham website:
The ‘S’ pack is geared towards the casual road driver and includes creature comforts such as a fully-carpeted cockpit, full windscreen, hood and side screens and leather seats.
Meanwhile, the ‘R’ pack is more track-focused and is stuffed full of race-inspired goodies that will make every drive you take an event, whilst retaining its road car status. It includes a limited-slip differential, sports suspension, a four-point race harness and many other race-orientated upgrades.
A few car makers use different suffixes to denote faster-than-standard versions of their cars... the Honda Civic Type-R and Mini Cooper S come to mind.
Quote : "Never ceases to amaze me how much of a rip off caterham are. 30k for that vs 25k for a Zenos E10 with a 200bhp engine or 25k for a Toyata GT86 if you want more creature comforts."
...and the Caterham will pull down the pants of both of those on track or road. It will also be worth significantly more in 5 years time after depreciation has kicked in.
My 200Bhp Caterham is for sale, for less money!!!
You could have far more smiles and an insanely fast Caterham SV with the VHPD racing engine for less or equal dosh with a load of spare bits and bobs. Go onto blatchat dot com and search for "2002 SV VHPD For Sale" and you'll get one heck of a deal!
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