Today we find a vehicle in the lightweight garage, which consists only of necessary components. Also considered necessary in the case is a 2.0-liter 175 hp Ford Duratec engine: necessary to achieve 3.1 kg/hp power-to-weight ratio and let the Caterham Superlight R300 accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds. The top speed is a modest 209 km/h. The unladen weight of the vehicle is 509 kg and was achieved with the aid of a wide range of lightweight construction measures. These are explained below at a high level of fluency.
For one thing, the significant reduction in requirements made a major contribution to the vehicle's low final weight. The Caterham R300 has no windshield, no roof and no windows, airbags or heating. Systems such as ABS, ESP or ASR were also not provided.
On the other hand, common lightweight materials are used for the Caterham R300. Glass fiber-reinforced plastics were used in the front nose and fender areas. A fiber-reinforced wind deflector is also used instead of the windshield.
Fiber-reinforced plastics are often used in lightweight structures because they have very good specific mechanical properties. The fibers can absorb the loads that occur and are protected and supported by the surrounding matrix material. Fiber angles can be used to control the mechanical properties of the composite in different directions. Thus, the components can be designed to withstand stresses without significantly affecting the design.
The Lightweighting Effect
The unladen weight of the Caterham Superlight R300 is 509 kg, which is below the minimum weight of a Formula 1 car, for example.