Considering that Caterham essentially only makes one vehicle, its array of variations on the theme can be bewildering. But the latest word from the UK has it that the British sports car manufacturer is planning on streamlining things, and making its nomenclature more straightforward.
We could hardly count all the variants of the iconic Seven which Caterham has produced over the past 40-plus years. Some of them make it to the North American market and some don't, but the British automaker has just announced two new variants heading straight for American shores.
There are many things you could say about the Caterham Seven. It's ugly as a demon from hell, first of all, and it's based on a design so old it makes the Porsche 911 and Jeep Wrangler look like new technology. But it's also fast. Damn fast.
News recently broke that Caterham is soliciting new investment to carry on with its ambitions plans. However, that's not keeping the sports car builder from moving forward with new projects. Case in point is its latest creation: the limited edition Seven 250R Kamui Special Edition in honor of its F1 driver, Kamui Kobayashi.
Auto Express wanted to put the Caterham Seven 620R in a hot-lap battle against a KTM X-Bow at Blyton Park. Unable to procure an X-Bow, they substituted another open-air KTM: the Super Duke R 1290, a streetfighter that the company nicknamed "The Beast." That set up a 310-horsepower, 1,100-pound four-wheeler up against a 180-horsepower, 416-pound two-wheeler... and English weather.
Morgan Three-Wheeler or Caterham? That is a decision we desperately wish we had to wrestle with. Both are truly iconic vehicles, boasting a cult-like following. With the Morgan, it's unique layout and vintage look make it one of the single most interesting vehicles on the road, even if its V-twin engine doesn't deliver a ton of grunt.
It doesn't get much more basic than the Caterham Seven. The original Lotus design was – and remains – the ultimate embodiment of Colin Chapman's "add lightness" ethos. But even among Sevens, some are more basic than others. And this is the most basic of them all.
Caterham's fastest car used to be the R500 Superlight. The new fastest car from the UK-based company is the Seven 620R. Where the R500 uses a 263-horsepower, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, the 620R straps a supercharger onto the Ford mill, for a total of 310 horsepower and 219 pound-feet of torque. At only 1,200 pounds, that's a huge amount of thrust, and will scoot the blown Seven to 60 miles per hour in around 2.8 seconds. In short, this car, which is built in a small town in Surrey, will hit 60 in
Caterham is lowering the price and adding lightness to its newest entry-level Seven, with a sub-17,000-pound ($26,061) window sticker and a new engine from Suzuki, a 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder mill that will produce less horsepower than the current 125-hp entry level model (it was not mentioned if the Suzuki-powered Seven will replace any models). The new, lightweight engine complements a re-engineered chassis featuring major suspension revisions.
Occasionally we learn about a new car manufacturer starting up in Mexico, but usually the country's most significant involvement in the auto industry is relegated to building vehicles and parts for other auto companies. RON Automóviles de México hopes to change that with its new line of sports cars. The flagship model, the RXX, resembles an Ariel Atom with bodywork, while the R7 was inspired by the Lotus 7.
Caterham will be radically expanding beyond its core market of track-day specials with a new Renault-based CUV and city car. Following our initial reports back in November, the new models, which we can only hope are as ridiculously sporty as Caterham's other offerings, have been confirmed by Chairman Tony Fernandes to news agency Reuters.
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.
The Bowler EXR S is a purpose-built SUV based on Land Rover bones with a 550-horsepower supercharged V8 designed to tackle off-road rallying events like the Paris-Dakar. The Caterham Seven Supersport is a feather-light track day weapon, purposely created to out-hustle just about anything on a winding race circuit. If asked to pick one of the as the fastest around a handling circuit in the UK, the smart money is clearly on the racing Caterham. Right?
Caterham has announced that it has founded a separate engineering company that will focus on producing a new line of affordable sports cars. Caterham Technology and Innovation Limited intends to translate the lessons of lightweight performance gleaned from years of building the Caterham Seven into an accessible product for the masses. There's even talk of implementing lightweight materials and high-performance engine tech from the Team Lotus Formula One endeavor. Get excited. CTI even makes it c