Caterham’s all-new Superlight R300 has been voted EVO’s Track Car Of The Year for 2002 – the third consecutive year the British sportscar maker has picked up the prestigious gong.
Hailed by many as the best in a long line of modern-day versions of the 1957 Colin Chapman design, the road-going 160bhp Seven beat stiff competition from the likes of the Mitsubishi EVO VII, Vauxhall VX220, Lotus Exige and BMW M3 to the title.
Given the rise in popularity of trackdays, Simon Nearn, Caterham’s managing director, added: "The R300 was always meant to be the 21st Century epitome of the original Seven, and I think we’ve achieved it with flying colours. It’s just one of those cars that will leave people smiling for hours, making it the ideal companion for a countryside drive or a blast around a track."
With a finely tuned and balanced X-Power badged version of MG Rover’s K Series engine under the bonnet, the lightweight R300 boasts a 0-60mph sprint time of 4.7 seconds and an elementary top-speed of 130mph.
The panel of expert judges included 2001 British Touring Car Production Class Champion, Simon Harrison and ex-F1 racer, Jonathan Palmer.
Harrison enthused: "The R300’s perfect. It’s as quick as you’d want, you can slide it around and it’s controllable. Perhaps the best thing about it is that it hardly marks the tyres and won’t kill the brakes. That’s affordable trackday fun."
Evo summed up: "For pure driving fun, the R300 is tops – in the wet or the dry, you can make it dance, challenge yourself and improve your skills…[it wins] biggest smile of the test award!"
The R300 is priced at £22,950.Published 16 July 2002