For the first time in quite a while, Caterham has added a new model to the Seven lineup: the Supersport.
In recent times, Caterham’s focus has mainly been on promoting their current products, creating the odd cosmetically-modified special edition, and expanding beyond the Seven. But to prove that the Seven’s alive and kicking, we now have this new model.
The Supersport is based on the race variant of the Seven, but has been “fine tuned for the road” according to Caterham. Power comes from a tuned 1.6L Ford Sigma engine, developing 140 bhp and linked to a five-speed manual gearbox. While that’s not an awful lot of power, most of you will know that the Caterham Seven weighs next to nothing (520 kg/1,146 pounds in the case of the Supersport), and so that’s more than enough power. In fact, the Supersport gets from a standstill to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, and will keep on going to a top speed of 120 mph.
The Supersport also comes with racing suspension, a limited-slip differential, a “track biased dash” with integrated lights to tell you when to shift up, and racing seats with four-point harnesses.
Caterham will sell these for £19,995 in the UK as a kit, and factory-built for £22,995 (Or about $33,000 and $37,000 USD respectively). While it’s not too cheap, it’s probably just about the most fun you can have for that kind of money.
RAZOR SHARP SEVEN TAKES TO THE ROAD
Caterham Cars’ first brand new addition to the world-renowned Seven range in two years – the Supersport – is one of the purest versions yet of the iconic British sportscar.
Derived directly from the race car that competes in the highly-successful Caterham Supersport championship, the road-going edition borrows all of the track version’s performance essentials and then, for good measure, is fine-tuned for the road.
Priced £19,995 (incl tax) in self-build form, the 140bhp Supersport carries the DNA of Colin Chapman’s 1950s concept of ‘less is more’ and remains true to his philosophy of lightweight, minimalist machines that place outstanding handling characteristics and the thrill of driving at their core.
A Caterham Motorsport-tuned 1.6-litre Ford Sigma engine, five-speed ‘sprint’ ratio gearing, lightweight flywheel and race-prepared suspension with CR500 Avon tyres on 13″ wheels promise a raw and unadulterated driving experience – not for the faint-hearted but certainly for driving purists at home both on the road and on the track.
Weighing just 520kg, the Ford powerplant will propel the Supersport from 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds and will achieve a top speed of 120mph without breaking a sweat.
Equipped with a motorsport-honed limited-slip-differential and gearing with sports driving in mind, the Supersport also features uprated springs and dampers borrowed directly from its race car cousin, stiffer anti-roll bars, track biased dash with integrated change up lights and an aero screen. Composite race seats and a four-point race harness instead of standard seat belt complete the track-inspired experience.
Engineered for the track but at home on the road, the latest Seven packs an unrivalled punch for its price tag too. Factory-built, the Supersport will cost £22,995 with enthusiasts able to purchase in component form for £19,995.
The Supersport is unveiled just over two months after Caterham launched its extreme new sports racer, the SP/300.R to great acclaim at the Autosport International Show.
Caterham Cars engineering director, Mark Edwards, said: “The SP/300.R was our first brand new model for 15 years. But the Supersport is all about our roots. The Seven was born out of motorsport and this new model illustrates the values – accessibility, affordability and unadulterated fun – that have made Caterham the iconic brand it is today and which will ensure the Seven’s continuing global success.
“We’ve built faster and more powerful accelerating cars before, but the Supersport’s character, value and low running costs have generated a machine that will excite sportscar fans, including those on a budget.”
The Caterham Supersport Championship represents the third rung of its ‘motorsport ladder’ and is Caterham’s fastest-growing series. With 14 rounds over seven race weekends, the championship heads to the new Snetterton 300 circuit on 24-25th April.