A British built sportscar has smashed the production car world record for sprinting to 100mph and back again, leaving Ferraris and Porsches trailing in its wake along a 2-mile runway at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, Leicestershire.
The lightweight Caterham Seven R500 evolution, set a new world record time of 10.73 seconds during Autocar Magazine's annual 0-100mph-0 test.
The two-seater Seven raced to 60mph from a standing start in 3.21secs, having hit the 30mph mark in just 1.45secs. With 100mph reached in an incredible 6.92secs, the Caterham stopped a mere 3.6secs later.
The Surrey built model out paced cars worth 10 times its £42,000 price tag with the £425,000 Ferrari Enzo securing a time of 10.98 seconds. Even the quickest of all the big road bikes, a Suzuki GSX-R1000, which hits 100mph in 5.03secs, could only complete the Autocar test in 10.89secs.
Autocar Editor, Steve Sutcliffe said: "You'd think we'd have been in this game long enough not to be surprised when we break a world record which seemed unbreakable when we set it last year. But if our annual 0-100-0 speed-fest proves one thing, it's the sheer pace of automotive development."
Having lost its 0-100-0mph record to the American Mosler MT900S, a road going version of a GT race car, last November, (previous holders of the title include the £500,000 McLaren F1 road car) Caterham smashed its 2003 time by almost half a second, and its 2002 record of 11.44 secs by seven tenths of a second.
Launched earlier this month, as the ultimate performance driver's car, the R500 evolution is the flagship Caterham Seven model.
Simon Nearn, managing director of Caterham Cars said: "By testing a car's acceleration and braking, the 0-100-0 test is THE true indicator of a car's all round performance capability. This record also proves that we have built a car which can respond to a driver's reactions quicker and more safely than anything else on the road."
The Autocar Magazine road test team put 47 cars through their paces ranging from a Renault Megane RS, Honda Civic Type R, Ruf Porsche Turbo, BMW CSL, Aston Martin DB9, all the way to the Ferrari Enzo, Mercedes McLaren SLR and Porsche Carrera GT.Published 30 April 2004