A few weeks ago I did a piece on the Caterham 620R – which is a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing if I’m honest. The little replica Lotus Seven body is sporty, but the 620R has a monster under the long bonnet that goes far beyond mere sportiness. It makes cannon fodder of everything that doesn’t cut hyper car mustard.
Recently however the company has announced a new model that is on the other end of the spectrum entirely. Where you’ll find a 230kW 2.0 litre Ford motor in the 620, Caterham announced via their ‘telegram’ news service that the new entry level Seven will be fitted with a turbo charged, three cylinder, 660cc Suzuki motor.
Yes folks, that is officially the smallest engine ever fitted to a Seven. And equally tiny is the five speed Suzuki ‘box that’ll go along with it, resulting in what Caterham calls an ‘ultra-efficient’ combination; thereby achieving their goal of creating the most efficient, lightest Seven ever, while paying homage to early incarnations of the iconic Seven by utilising a super-compact and lightweight turbocharged engine to ‘add lightness’ like no other Seven in recent times.
To compliment all the ‘lightness’, the company has re-engineered the chassis and made major revisions to the suspension layout in an attempt to reduce reliance on engine capacity as the barometer for fun, but rather re-introduce the grin factor induced by being completely involved in the task of driving.
“Our intention for this car is to offer the joy of the Seven in distilled form, so the new entry-level car is lighter, cheaper, more economical and more accessible than ever,” said Caterham Cars CEO, Graham Macdonald.
“Unfussy and easy to run, it is designed to give a neutral, supple ride yet carrying the sporting edge and turn-of-speed expected from any Seven. For a sportscar at this price point, it delivers on many fronts and we cannot wait to open the order book.”
Local pricing isn’t yet available, however up in the northern hemisphere they’re expecting to pay £17,000 when first deliveries take place toward the end of the year. That’s far less than half the price of the mentalist 620R – but be sure, for the average Joe it certainly won’t be anywhere near half as bad.
First published in Autodealer KZN