F1 car for the road to be launched at Goodwood; race series in the offing
8 June 2007

The awesome Caparo T1 supercar is nearly ready, and while the team behind it is carrying out some final testing, the final specification has been revealed.

Within its two-seat composite carbon/aluminium monocoque bodyshell, the T1 packs a normally aspirated 3.5-litre V8 producing 575bhp at a mountainous 10,500rpm and 310 lb ft at 9000rpm.

Seeing as the T1 has a dry weight of 550kg, that gives it a stupendous power-to-weight ratio of 1045bhp per tonne. Admittedly we'd normally work out power to weight on a road car's wet weight, but we don't know it, and either way the T1 has no shortage of power.

With a 70-litre fuel tank and eight-litre oil sump, the T1 will most likely be getting on for 100kg heavier with all fluids on board.

The engine is mated to a specially made magnesium paddle-shift gearbox, with various gearing options available according to customer requests.

Power goes to the rear wheels, and if the surface is dry, Caparo claims a 0-60mph time of 2.5sec – the same as a Bugatti Veyron. 0-100mph takes 5.0sec; that's half a second faster than the Bugatti Autocar figured earlier in the year, and as fast as any road legal superbike.

Chunky 355mm discs with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers help provide similarly impressive deceleration – 100-0mph taking just 3.5sec.

The T1 will be available in both track and road versions. In the former, it'll generate massive downforce, courtesy of its various wings, flaps and its rear diffuser, and have incredible cornering potential too.

Such is the downforce generated by the T1 that you could drive it upside down through a tunnel above 150mph, and could pull up to 3G through corners; 'normal' sports cars struggle to generate half as much lateral grip.

Thankfully, both versions of the T1 will have six-point harnesses and an integrated fire extinguisher system. The car's glass canopy will be optional, and all race and track components will be interchangeable.

Prices start at £190,000 plus taxes, so at least £225,000 on the road (or track). Costly, yes, but a whole lot cheaper than an F1 car. And ideal for the track day season.

“We are looking into the possibility of introducing an international T1 race series,” said Caparo's commercial director, Sean Butcher. “Our objective is to give customers an affordable and reliable season on the track without incurring the extraordinary costs of running a real Formula One car.”

Donations for the Autocar Caparo T1 fund will be gratefully received. The first customer car is due to be delivered in July, while the finished car makes its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed from 23-24 June.

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