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Caterham releases new Superlight special edition to mark 20th anniversary

It's been almost 20 years since the original Caterham Superlight was released in 1996, and to commemorate this milestone, Caterham is launching a new special edition to be launched at this weekend's Goodwood Revival event.

The new model dubbed the "Superlight Twenty", will be limited to a run of (you guessed it) 20 individually numbered cars, each with a numbered plaque in pride of place on the dashboard.

The original Superlight's production run actually ran right through until 2004, and despite its minimalism it has become one of the most well loved models that Caterham has ever produced, with some 200 models finding a home.

With a price tag of £29,995 for a factory built version, or £26.995 for those who want to go down the self assembly route, the Superlight Twenty features 1.6 litre 135hp Ford Sigma engine, a 6 speed close ratio manual gearbox with limited slip differential, sports suspension and a lightened flywheel.

As well as having generous helpings of carbon fibre to make up select components like the wings and nose, the bodywork is finished in bare aluminium just like the original - something that helps to save the car 6 kg. It may not sound like a lot but don't forget in a car that weighs just 498 kg, every little counts.

Along with the special plaque on the dashboard, Superlight Twenty models will also benefit from unique gauges, keys and a gear knob featuring the "Superlight Twenty" logo. Not only this but Caterham aficionados will notice that the car has borrowed seats previously only available with the flagship Seven 620 R model.

Options are pretty minimal as you would expect with Caterham, and only stretch as far as a full windscreen, hood, heater and a choice of paint finishes. Who needs keyless entry and climate control right?

Caterham Cars CEO, Graham Macdonald, said: “When Caterham created the original Superlight, it was a big hit. We sold every one we built and it inspired the development of future models.

“As well all the five-star reviews and animated feedback from customers for its driver appeal and roisterous character, it always represented excellent value by being a genuinely accessible performance car bargain – which is why we’ve tried to recreate that magic by celebrating the 20th anniversary of its launch.”

And while the new Caterham Superlight Twenty is certainly not the fastest and most extreme Caterham produced to date, it's no slouch either making the dash to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds and going on to a top speed of 122 mph - a speed that no doubt feels much faster what with your backside being that close to the floor and everything. Despite it being a little down on outright performance compared to some of its stable mates, the new Superlight Twenty will surely find affection from enthusiasts, who will relish in the fact that this particular model clearly takes Colin Chapman's lightweight and minimalist principles to heart.

Macdonald added: “Those unable to buy one first time around now have the opportunity to snap up one of a limited run of vehicles – it’s not an exact replica of the original but it’s most definitely cut from the same cloth and we know customers will love it for all the same reasons.”

The order books for the new model open immediately so if you're keen on picking up one of the twenty cars available, you better get on the phone to it.

James Mosley

James Mosley

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