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Caparo - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Caparo cars

The Caparo T1 is a British mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-seat car built by Caparo Vehicle Technologies, founded by design director Ben Scott-Geddes and engineering director Graham Halstead, former engineers involved in the development of the McLaren F1. The T1 was inspired by Formula One design, and intended as an affordable street legal race car. The T1 is scheduled for production in mid-2007 for a price of GB£235,000 (approx. US$480,000 or €328,000, c.2007).

Overview

Exterior

The exterior of the T1 closely resembles that of a racing prototype or Formula One racing car. It features a carbon fibre aerodynamic low drag body design, composed of individual sections, with an adjustable twin element front wing, single element rear wing, and fowler flaps, and a ground effect diffuser, allowing it to create 875 kilograms (1929 lb) of downforce at 240 kilometres per hour (150 mph). The wings are replaceable with road and track variations.

Interior

The interior of the T1 is a two-seat configuration, lacking any amenities and luxuries to reduce excess weight. The passenger's seat is set back from the driver's seat slightly, allowing the seats to be placed closer together, thereby reducing the overall width of the T1. Offered are a head protection system, six-point harnesses for the driver and passenger, compatible with a HANS device, and is designed with a central safety cell made of a high-strength steel roll hoop with a fire system. The dashboard is multi-function with race data logging and speed sensors for traction control and launch control.

Chassis

The chassis of the T1 is composed of a carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb monocoque with a front composite crash structure and a rear tubular space frame construction. The suspension is of a double wishbone design with tunable anti-roll bars, front and rear, and five-way adjustable race dampers. The braking system is composed of 355-millimetre (13.9 in) steel brake discs, with six-piston and four-piston calipers front and rear, respectively. The brake bias pedal box is fully adjustable and brake pads are available in various compounds.

Powertrain

The T1 sports a bespoke 3.5-litre, all-aluminum, naturally-aspirated V8 engine, lubricated via a dry sump system. The design of the engine has gone through several changes, previously including a smaller 2.4-litre supercharged unit. It generates a maximum power of 575 brake horsepower (583 PS/429 kW) at 10,500 revolutions per minute and a maximum torque of 310 pound-feet (420 N•m) at 9,000 revolutions per minute, giving the car a power-to-weight ratio of 1,045 brake horsepower per tonne. The engine is controlled via a fully tunable Pectel engine control unit and the throttle is controlled via a throttle-by-wire system.

The T1's gearbox is a 6-speed sequential made of a magnesium and carbon construction that has a variety of available gear ratios and utilizes a pneumatic actuator to shift, able to upshift in 60 milliseconds and downshift in 30 milliseconds. Furthermore, the drivetrain incorporates a limited slip differential and equal length hollow tripod driveshafts.

Performance

The T1 is reported to be capable of exceeding an estimated maximum speed of 322 kilometres per hour (200 mph) on a low downforce setup. From a standing start, it has an estimated 0–96 kilometres per hour (0–60 mph) under 2.5 seconds and onto 160 kilometres per hour (100 mph) under 5 seconds, depending on tyre setup. It is also capable of an estimated lateral acceleration of up to 3 g and braking deceleration of 3 g, depending on tyre setup.

History

Incidents

Jason Plato was injured in a T1 on October 2007 at the Bruntingthorpe proving ground when it caught fire at an estimated 250 kilometres per hour (150 mph). The T1 was being tested during filming for Five's Fifth Gear. Plato described what happened as:

There was a slight loss of power, I looked in the mirror and saw some smoke, there was a slight smell of oil and then suddenly there was this intense heat. The car spontaneously erupted into a ball of flame and I was sat in the middle of a fireball. I hit the brakes, brought the car to a stop as quickly as I could and jumped out.

In the associated episode of Fifth Gear, first broadcast October 15, 2007, presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson suggested the fire was caused by a faulty oil seal which, now identified will be fully rectified by Caparo.

While being tested for competing British television programme Top Gear, first broadcast on November 11, 2007, a floor panel came loose from the test vehicle as it was being driven at speed by Jeremy Clarkson. Afterwards, there was problem with the car's petrol injection system. In the same review, Clarkson mentioned two more incidents, one at the press launch, when "some aspect of the front suspension came adrift" while a Dutch journalist was driving, causing him to veer off road, and one at the Goodwood Festival of Speed when the throttle stuck open.

Reviews

On November 11, 2007, the T1 surpassed the Top Gear Power Board leader's time of 1:17.6, held by the Koenigsegg CCX, with a time of 1:10.6. Though immediately having declared the time and placed it on the Power Board, presenter Jeremy Clarkson removed the record because it did not meet the show's rule that the car must be able to go over a sleeping policeman, despite it being street legal. However, Caparo has indicated that the production version has an adjustable ride height and is capable of passing over sleeping policemen.

List of all Caparo cars

Source: Wikipedia

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