Without releasing actual horsepower or fuel efficiency numbers, the automaker said in a release that the Suzuki engine is the smallest, cleanest and most efficient engine ever used in a Seven. That's not surprising when considering that the engine we suspect Caterham will be using was designed for Suzuki's kei cars in Japan, such as the MR, which are restricted to a maximum of 660cc and 63 hp.
"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," says Caterham Cars CEO Graham Macdonald. Check out the press release below for a few more details, and sit tight for word on North American availability.
- New model gets 660cc turbocharged Suzuki engine
- Designed for maximum weight-saving, efficiency and fun
Caterham Cars' soon-to-be-released, all-new entry-level Seven will be powered by a 660cc, three-cylinder turbocharged engine manufactured by Suzuki Motor Corporation – the smallest and most efficient engine ever installed in a Seven.
The new vehicle uses 21st-Century engineering to pay 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.
The ultra-efficient, downsized engine matched with an equally compact Suzuki five-speed gearbox, has been adapted by Caterham Technology & Innovation (CTI) – Caterham Group's engineering division – to complement a re-engineered chassis, which also harks back to the spirit of former Sevens with major revisions to the suspension layout.
As a renowned specialist in compact and efficient vehicle design, Suzuki's expertise in the field meant it was the ideal partner for Caterham in achieving its goal of creating the most efficient, lightest Seven ever.
The powertrain specialists at CTI have fine-tuned the engine to suit the highly dynamic Seven, resulting in a car capable of strong performance while delivering vastly improved fuel economy and reduced vehicle emissions.
Caterham Cars CEO, Graham Macdonald, said: "It is not engine size that matters, it is the grin factor that is our barometer and we believe we have got the formula for our new entry-level vehicle just right.
"Suzuki is a leader in producing compact vehicles with extremely efficient engines and that is clearly a shared passion. We needed a particularly light powertrain but it had to be a unit that suited the characteristics inherent to all Sevens – thankfully, after lots of hard work, we have a package that works brilliantly.
"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." Priced under £17,000, the new model will be launched in Autumn this year, with first deliveries expected before the end of 2013. He added: "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."
Suzuki said: "It has been a very interesting and unique project for us. We trust that supplying our powertrain to Caterham with a respected reputation for building lightweight, low-volume sportscars will enhance our 'sporty' brand image."