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a little red monster



2007 Caparo T1

As the world's first road car to exceed 1 000bhp per tonne, the Caparo T1 will surely grab attention. Currently being developed by engineers that helped deliver the iconic McLaren F1, the T1 concept is a road going, two seat sports car using formula racing technologies whilst delivering safety and accident protection.

''To demonstrate our understanding of these fundamental vehicle engineering issues we set out to design an optimum package for delivering 1,000bhp-per-tonne,'' says Caparo co-founder Ben Scott-Geddes. ''Interestingly, the sweet spot on the curve that satisfies many of these issues is 500 horsepower in a vehicle with a mass of 500kg.''

Halstead and Scott-Geddes share an impressive track record and formed part of the small engineering team that worked with McLaren. In terms of sheer vehicle performance, their vision for the T1 is an ultra-lightweight car capable of reaching 100mph in five seconds, with a top speed exceeding 200mph depending on the adjustable aerodynamic set-up which will offer enough downforce to corner at more than 3gs, the same as a Le Mans prototype!

However, in terms of addressing industry issues such as safety and CO2 emission, the car will showcase the consultancy's core credentials. ''Concept vehicles are ten-a-penny and this is more than a one-off prototype," says Scott-Geddes. "The only way to truly convince car makers that we have the experience and skills to design and engineer a safe, reliable, cost-efficient albeit high-performance car is to actually design and build one. We then have something to discuss.''

The T1 powertrain comprises a bespoke 2.4-litre supercharged V8 aluminium engine with a mass of approximately 85kg. Similarly, the 6-speed sequential transmission with magnesium casing is a bespoke design with a mass of approximately 30kg. The carbon/aluminium honeycomb monocoque features a separate composite crash structure at the front, while the rear sub-frame specifies aerospace grade steel.

The non carbon-fibre steel suspension, for example, illustrates the company's ability to specify structural materials that can deliver the maximum performance at the lowest possible cost. Overall, the 150 000 GBP price tag underlines the company's ability to design and build an exclusive car at a relatively low price despite its ultra high performance.

Story by Freestream Cars Limited, edited by Supercars.net




In Detail
engine Aluminum V8 w/Dym Sump Lubrication
valvetrain 4 Valves per Cyl
displacement 2400 cc / 146.5 cu in
power 372.9 kw / 500 bhp @ 10500 rpm
hp per litre 208.33 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 1000.0 bhp per weight
drive wheels RWD w/LSD
body / frame Carbon Fiber & Aluminum Monocoque
front brakes Discs w/6-Piston Calipers
f brake size 355 mm / Not AvailableNot Available in
rear brakes Discs w/4-Piston Calipers
r brake size 355 mm / 14.0 in
f suspension Wishbones
r suspension Wishbones
weight 500 kg / 1102 lbs
transmission 6-Speed Sequential
0 - 60 mph 2.5 seconds