Caterham R620 - front three-quarter on-road view

With apologies to The Beatles, it was 40 years ago today (well, sort of...) that Caterham taught the Seven to play. The car as you're likely aware, is a direct descendant of the quintessential Lotus of the same name. As befitting an anniversary year, Caterham has decided to up the Seven's ante by plopping a 2.0-liter Ford Duratec into the engine bay, fortified by a supercharger to deliver 310 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox.

Weight of the Caterham R620 is not yet known, but considering its estimated 2.8-second run to 60 miles per hour, and historically lightweight nature, it figures to be rather feathery. Caterham F1 driver Charles Pic will pilot the new R620 up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this week, followed by GP2 driver Alexander Rossi. Orders are being taken now, and deliveries are expected – you guessed it – later this year.

We suggest you scroll down to read through the press release, wherein Caterham confuses us by saying the new R620 is "diametrically opposed" to its latest entry-level Seven while also adhering to its "brand mantra of delivering 'accessible fun' and the traditional Caterham minimalistic, lightweight approach." Whatever... at least be sure to check out the image gallery above.
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CATERHAM UNLEASHES MOST POWERFUL SEVEN AT GOODWOOD

Caterham Seven 620R packs a 310bhp punch
Supercharged sportscar will do 0-60mph in under 2.8s
New range-topper deposes legendary R500
Global debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed


Caterham Cars will launch its most extreme Seven to date at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend (July 12-14).

As the lightweight sportscar manufacturer celebrates 40 years of developing and building the Seven, Caterham is re-inventing the already enviable parameters of its iconic model, with the Seven 620R setting a new benchmark in outrageous performance.

A newly-engineered, two-litre supercharged Ford Duratec engine pumps out 310bhp, providing even more of a kick in the back for the driver and propelling the Seven 620R from 0-60mph in under 2.8 seconds.

Priced at £49,995 (incl VAT) fully built, such extreme performance, pushing on to a top speed of 155mph, will put the 620R at the top of the current range, replacing the legendary Superlight R500.

Caterham F1 Team driver Charles Pic will drive the 620R up the famous Goodwood hill at the Festival of Speed, as will Caterham F1 Team reserve driver and Caterham Racing GP2 driver, Alexander Rossi.

A static version of the new car will also feature on Caterham's Festival of Speed stand, along with other performance vehicles from across the Caterham Group.

Caterham Cars CEO, Graham Macdonald, said: "The 620R is the most hardcore production Seven ever built for the road.

"The R500 claimed its place in motoring history as a benchmark for lightweight sportscar performance but this new vehicle pushes the boundaries even further.

"While I wouldn't necessarily recommend this car for those inexperienced in driving Caterhams, we always ensure that even our fastest cars retain the manageable delivery of power that makes them accessible, despite the daunting statistics."

The 620R is diametrically opposed to the new ultra-efficient, affordable entry-level Seven that will sit at the opposite end of the range when Caterham unveils it in Autumn this year.

Like all Sevens, the 620R adheres to Caterham's brand mantra of delivering 'accessible fun' and the traditional Caterham minimalistic, lightweight approach to the engineering of the car is ever-present.

As well as producing more horsepower and torque than any previous incarnation of the Seven, the 620R also benefits from several other new enhancements.

The car features a unique gunmetal chassis, an air-flow optimised nose cone and a race-developed cooling package. De Dion rear suspension and wide track front suspension units are complemented by high-performance dampers all round, while the car sits on lightweight, 13" alloy wheels fitted with track-inspired Avon ZZR tyres.

In the cockpit, there are more noticeable improvements, with features including performance-focused instrumentation and ergonomic switchgear.

Meanwhile, carbon fibre interior panels and dash plus carbon fibre race seats and a Q/R race steering wheel complete the sports feel to the interior.

"The Seven 620R is an extreme piece of kit," concludes Macdonald. "We know there is demand for cars that re-write the rules of performance and, if you're brave enough to take it on, the 620R will be an enormously rewarding, fun car to pilot."

While the launch edition of the Seven 620 features the sportier 'R' pack, a slightly less hardcore 'S' pack, which harnesses all the power of the original but offers a little more accessibility will be launched later this year.

Orders are now being taken for the Caterham Seven 620R, with first deliveries expected later this year.

Please visit http://www.caterham.co.uk or call 01883 333 700 for more information.

Caterham Seven 620R

Engine 2.0-litre Ford Duratec (supercharged)
Max Power (bhp/rpm): 311bhp @ 7,700rpm
Max Torque (lbs ft/rpm): 219lbsft @ 7,350rpm
Weight TBC
0-60mph: 2.79 seconds
Power-to-weight: TBC
Top Speed: 155mph

Caterham Seven 620R Specification
Standard equipment

2.0-litre Ford Duratec (supercharged)
6-speed sequential transmission with flat-shift
Limited slip differential
Unique gunmetal chassis
Carbon-fibre wings
Air flow optimized nose cone
Race developed cooling package
De-Dion rear suspension with high performance dampers
Wide track front suspension with high performance dampers
Ventilated front discs and quad piston calipers
Carbon-fibre interior panels and dash
Carbon-fibre race seats
Lightweight 13" alloy wheels with Avon ZZR tyres; 185/55R13 front and 215/55R13 rear
4 point race harness
Q/R Race steering wheel
High performance focused instrumentation and ergonomic switchgear
Toggle switch ignition
Immobiliser
Sequential shift lights
Carbon aero screen
Black pack
Suspension
Front: Adjustable double wishbone with roll bar
Rear: De Dion axle located by lower A-frame and Watts linkage

Brakes
Twin circuit split front/rear with low level warning system. Discs front and rear

Steering
Rack and pinion, 1.93 turns lock to lock

Wheels and Tyres
Front 6J x 13" AVON ZZR
Rear 8J x 13" AVON ZZR