For five years it was the fastest and most focused Seven ever produced, but now this landmark Caterham model has reached the end of the road

Production of the Caterham Superlight R500, one of the most extreme variants of the Seven sports car, has come to an end.

The build of the final R500 – number 174 – finished at the manufacturer's Dartford factory on Monday 7 July and that car is destined for Caterham’s distributor in Peru, South America.

The Superlight R500 was introduced in 2008. Powered by a 2.0-litre Duratec engine, the car produced 263bhp and was capable of 0-62mph in a supercar-worrying 2.88sec. 

Until 2013, when the supercharged Seven 620 R was launched, the R500 remained the fastest and most focused Seven ever produced. 

Caterham Group chief executive Graham Macdonald said: “It was a landmark model for us in many respects; its performance on the road and track was matched by the impact it had on our brand. It brought new technologies to the Seven range and was the first production Caterham to adopt a sequential gearbox.

“To some extent, it represented the start of a new era in which Caterham stepped into the 21st century, but it perfectly encapsulated Colin Chapman’s original ethos and harnessed our determination to provide accessible fun like no other.”

The largest export markets for the R500 were Japan and Italy, followed by France and then Germany. In total, nearly 50 per cent of Superlight R500 production run found homes overseas.

Watch the Caterham Superlight R500 take on a Ducati superbike.

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Our Verdict

Caterham Seven Superlight

The Caterham Superlight scintillates with simplicity. There's little quicker or more focused for the price

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