Caterham Cars has joined forces with RS Performance to offer “the ultimate in bespoke Seven coachbuilding” to enthusiasts who want an expression of British sports car exclusivity.
Caterham has long been the epitome of personalized 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 who want truly “built to order” cars.
Using the motorsport-honed Caterham chassis and benchmark technology as a cosmetic and engineering base, RS Performance, will “turn imagination into reality”, Savory said.
The heartbeat of every RS-badged Seven will be the unique RST-V8 engine.
With more than 16 years of development by Savory behind it, the 40-valve, 2.4-litre engine reliably delivers a 300kW in normally aspirated mode or more than 375kW as a supercharged variant that weighs only 90kg in full running gear.
The lightness of the RST-V8 matched to the already featherweight Seven chassis delivers a power-to-weight ratio of more than 750kW/tonne – more than double that 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 roll out of RS Performance’s Hertfordshire plant and only seven more will be assembled.
There’s a 12-week waiting for one of the cars and they cost more than £115 000 (about R1.7-million). Caterham calls it “a supercharged engineering masterpiece, a modern interpretation of the Seven’s classic looks with a sophisticated electronics package and traction and launch control to help get the phenomenal power on the road”.
Weight reduction runs throughout the car, from the carbon-fibre interior and Kevlar seats to the hoses in the cooling systems.
The RS Performance badge will sit alongside the established, but soon to be expanded, Ford-powered Caterham Seven range.