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Caparo goes crazy

Lightweight: T1 weighs just 470kg, but is powered by a 358kW V8.

Ex-McLaren engineers create the Caparo T1, a thinly disguiser F1 racer for the road

14 Jul 2006

NOBODY goes quite so over the top as the British when it comes to no-holds-barred performance concepts.

The absolutely fully-exposed, Clubman-style Ariel Atom is one recent example but even that looks tame compared with the latest, thinly-disguised F1 racer for the road, the awkwardly-named Caparo T1.

This ridiculous example of performance car overkill carries two people in two rows and is said to generate so much downforce that, at 240km/h, it could be driven upside down in a tunnel.

Its makers, the global company Caparo Vehicle Technologies Limited, employed ex-McLaren engineers Ben Scott-Geddes and Graham Halstead - who worked on the McLaren F1, Mercedes SLR and Formula One projects - to "create the ultimate track day experience".

This they surely have done, what with a power-weight ratio (it weighs 470kg) twice that of the astounding Bugatti Veyron, which means it will reach 160km/h in the same time as a Porsche 911 gets to 100km/h. Or from zero to 160km/h, and back to a stop, by the time even a quick sedan reaches 100km/h.

176 center imageThe basic structure of the Caparo is fundamentally F1, with a mid-engine configuration supported at each end by aerodynamic wishbone suspensions. The adjustable front and rear wings work in conjunction with the ground effect diffuser that sucks it so resoundingly onto the road.

The brakes comprise 355mm steel race discs front and rear with six and four-pot machined calipers used respectively at the front and rear.

The result is an ability to generate lateral and braking accelerations in excess of 3g and a top speed of better than 320km/h.

The dry-sumped, 2.4-litre aluminium V8 produces 358kW at 10,500rpm and drives through a six-speed sequential gearbox.

The Caparo will join a showcase of exotic vehicles in a special ‘SuperCar Paddock’ feature area at the British International Motor Show from July 20.

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