The Caterham Superlight R500 took the world by surprise in 2008 with its 263 hp 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-pot and sub-3.0 seconds 0-60mph sprint time. The same year it was launched, Top Gear’s racing driver, The Stig, drove it around the show’s test track completing a lap in just 1 minute and 17.9 seconds. That's the seventh fastest official lap time ever recorded on the show, putting to shame “heavyweights” like the Bugatti Veyron.
But everything comes to an end, and today, Caterham announced that the special model is making its final journey next week before being retired from active service.
Caterham Cars’ marketing manager, James Drake, commented: “The white and orange R500 has already claimed its place in motoring history. It’s worked hard since the new R500 was launched in 2008 and we feel it’s now time to let it have a rest. It will still be available as a static display car, but its hard driving days are over. We’re stopping short of wearing black armbands in the office, but it’s still going to be a sad day when its final public engagement is over”.
This will happen after it’s going to be displayed at the Marks & Spencers store in Kent, with the purpose of promoting a new range of remote control R500s. These motorized scale models will be available in the classic color scheme (white with orange stripes), and also in red with white stripes.
It seems that Caterham has no intention of selling the car, so Top Gear enthusiasts will have to be satisfied with the “regular” R500. Those who can’t afford the £40,200 price tag for the real deal, can check out M&S stores this Christmas, where they will be able to buy the RC for just £19.50.
By Csaba Daradics