The Caparo T1 takes Formula One performance onto the roads. It looks amazing and its performance is something difficult to imagine for anyone who isn't a racing driver. Things happen immediately, whether you are accelerating, cornering or braking, but it is above all the acceleration that really makes for a dramatic ride. From 0 to 60 mph in under 2.5 seconds is incredible, and the acceleration continues, so that from 0 to 100 miles an hour in achieved in 5 seconds. Top speed is over 200 mph – 329 kmh – making it the fastest road car in the world. This performance is made possible by a power plant that delivers by a power-weight ratio double that of the Bugatti Veyron.
The experience becomes even more gutsy when braking and cornering, when you experience up to 3.5 g, not far off the forces at aerobatic pilots feel. Amazingly, whatever the speed you take the corner, its adhesion to the tarmac is excellent, with handling assured by precise steering, state-of-the-art dynamics and generous downforce.
All this is attained by means of a lightweight carbon and aluminium honeycomb monocoque shell, with an extensive use of carbon fibre for structural components. The total weight is just 550 kg. Then there is the 3.5 litre Menard V8 engine, which delivers enough torque to give a power to weight ratio of 1000 bhp per tonne, which can be compared with the 520 bhp/t for the Bugatti Veyron, and the 550 bhp/t for the McLaren F1. The thousand bhp/t is in fact a world first for a road car. The engine can be further tuned, along with the aerodynamics, with an adjustable twin-element front wing, single element rear wing, adjustable fowler flaps, and a tuneable front anti-roll bar on the suspension. The brake bias pedal box is also fully adjustable.
Caparo Vehicle Technologies was founded by Ben Scott-Geddes and Graham Halstead in 2005 in order to manufacture high-performance race and road cars. The Caparo T1 was developed by engineers who worked on the McLaren F1, and it remains a highly exclusive vehicle, with an output of just 25 cars per year, and a price of around £200,000. The founders had the truly original idea of creating a sports car that could offer sports drivers the Formula One experience in a car with number plates.
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