Retro Drag Race Sees Caterham 170R Take On MINI Oselli and Tipo 184
20 November 2021 - autoevolution
The folks at TopGear just concluded their SpeedWeek 2021, but before they let all the toys go home, they managed this drag race.
It pits three of the most interesting retro-esque cars in their group directly against one another in a simple smoky drag race.
The first car on the strip is one we've talked about before. The MINI Oselli Edition. It's a classic MINI shape and steel alone, really. Perhaps the only seriously old-school tech on it are the drum brakes out back, but even those are made of modern alloy.
Of course, up front are 4-piston AP Racing calipers and 270mm vented discs. The front wheels get power through a 5-speed manual transmission and a torque-biasing limited-slip differential. Did we mention that it makes 125 horsepower? It's a tiny, light, lovely little rocket.
The entire vehicle, from body panels to seats to the wheels and tires, is included in the kit. So at the end of the build, you're left with what is clearly a more special vehicle than another run-of-the-mill Miata.
Then there's the Caterham 170R. It's likely the one everyone is most familiar with. Really though, it's just the most known roadster shape. What makes the 170R special isn't its power or history; it's that it weighs just 947 pounds (442 kg). Of course, it only has 84 horsepower. Which would you bet on?
Turns out that simplicity and overall lightness might be a brilliant idea. The Caterham has exactly no problem rolling away from the start and never looking back. The Tipo 184 follows fairly close behind, and the Oselli, well, disappoints. Considering its $170,000+ price tag, we expected better than dead last.