Mike Stevens | Oct 27, 2008

Our man Dan Fewster is not the only guy I am jealous of. There are other amazing supercars out there waiting to be tested and I'm not on the list to get the job (damn).

One of these other supercars I am referring to is the Caparo T1. Designed by McLaren F1 genius Gordon Murray and his engineering company, this car has been touted as a Formula 1 car for the road. The design certainly indicates as much, with inboard suspension and spindly arms reminiscent of an open wheeler and the aerodynamics of an aeroplane. Its absolute domination of the Top Gear test track means it has the "go" to match the "show".Henry Catchpole, one of the writers for UK evo magazine, has managed to score a road drive of this amazing vehicle.

"My first impression of the Caparo is a fairly obvious one: it’s fast. Then I realise that I’m not being shaken to pieces. The ride is actually very good; not plush, but not vertebrae-jarringly hard either. Even Phil is pleased by how well it’s performing on public tarmac. It certainly bodes well for the planned assault on the Nürburgring, where they want to go for Bellof’s 6min 11sec outright record set in a Porsche 962 in 1983," he reports.

Catchpole also had a chat with the guys from Caparo about some of the negative publicity surrounding the car. It famously set touring car driver and 5th Gear presenter Jason Plato on fire, possibly costing him the championship, and then Clarkson panned it as undrivable and "understeery"... despite the Stig's amazing time behind the wheel.

The response from Caparo, that the car in question was a prototype rather than a completed car, is fair enough. Test mules aren't as polished as production cars, either in quality or handling. A 'mule' is usually something for the engineers to pull apart and put back together again as they experiment with different settings. Caparo was expecting the 5th Gear journos to treat the car like 'a work in progress' - which they clearly didn't. Maybe Caparo should have covered the car in black duct tape, like you see in spy shots, to reinforce the notion that it wasn't quite sorted yet.

As a track day junkie, I can't wait to see what this ultimate expression of a road legal track-toy will do once its produced. While its downforce-limited top speed may not match that of the built-to-be-the-fastest Veyron's, it may yet supplant the Bugatti as the world's most amazing road legal supercar.

[ evo ]

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