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2011 Caterham Seven Supersport

The Lotus-based Caterham Seven has been around for quite awhile with the first sports car model setting its wheels to the road back in 1973. A lot has changed since then and Caterham is now up for the challenge of producing a speedier model derived directly from the race car that competes in the highly-successful Caterham Supersport championship. The new model is appropriately called the Supersport and can be purchased for £19,995 (including tax) in self-build form (about $32,600 at the current exchange rates).

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."

Hit the jump to read more about the Caterham Seven Supersport.

Exterior and Interior

Caterham Seven Supersport

The new Caterham Seven Supersport carries the DNA of Colin Chapman’s 1950s concept of ’less is more’ and remains true to his philosophy of lightweight, minimalist machines. It comes equipped with 13" wheels wrapped in Avon tires and composite race seats and a four-point race harness instead of standard seat belt for the interior.

Engine

Caterham Seven Supersport

The new Seven Supersport is powered by a Caterham Motorsport-tuned 1600 cc Ford Sigma engine that delivers a total of 140 HP and is mated to a five-speed ‘sprint’ ratio gearing, lightweight flywheel and race-prepared suspension. With a total weight of just 1146 lbs, the Seven Supersport will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and will achieve a top speed of 120mph.

The Caterham Seven 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.

Pricing

The car is perfectly road legal and can be purchased for $32,600 for the ’self-built’ variant or $37,600 for the factory built version.

Competition

Caterham Seven Supersport

The problem with the Caterham Seven Supersport is that it is not the only car of its kind out on the market. Customers can always opt for the KTM X-Bow , a model that is more powerful and faster than the Caterham. Don’t like the KTM? Well, customers can also choose the Ariel Atom which also presents a serious challenge for the Caterham.

The KTM X-Bow is powered by an Audi sourced engine with an output of 220 HP in its basic version with a 0-60mph sprint time of 3.9 seconds. In its R version, the X-Bow gets an incredible 300 HP. However, with more speed comes a heftier price tag. The R-version sits with a price of $103,500, making the Caterham look kind of nice in comparison.

The Ariel Atom is a pretty tasty choices as well with a variety of engines and outputs ranging from 245 Hp to 500 HP for the latest V8 500 version. The Atom kills the competition in power output, but also comes with an astronomical price tag of $225,000.

LOVE IT
  • Road legal
  • Cheaper than competition
  • Most impressive Seven in the line-up
LEAVE IT
  • Develops less HP than most of the competition
  • Not as fast as similar models on the market



15 comments:

The platform of this Seven Supersport of Caterham is kind of cute and unique. However, I’m disappointed that it develops less horsepower unlike the other sports car had, but I would love to watch the performance of it.

I think the performance of this vehicle is quite weak. Since it is a road legal, the power output or the horse it can provide must run from 400-800 HP. This car only offers 140 HP. Poor car!

Well, looking at its competitor I would say that this not best option since the KTM produces much higher power output. However, I think this car bet for collection purposes.

Honestly, I don’t know what’s the use of this car. Typically, its not a racing car but a sportscar. I haven’t seen anything like this run in the road. And I think , its not safe for a car like this to drive along with busy street.

And for those who are not all that willing to assemble their cars, the additional price for the built unit isn’t all that pricey either. Maybe this is the reason why the car is such a success.

Well, would you look at that, the car sells only just around 32 grand for the kit version. That one would definitely be an interesting project for me to take.

The thing that I love about the Caterham Seven, aside from driving it, is being able to build one. The whole experience is really great and will give you a better appreciation of the whole car.

Well, you guys have pretty much said everything about the Caterham Seven. All that I can say is that this is one of best fun drives that I have tried out.

I would definitely want to add handling as another point why this one is a winner. It is really rather easy to drive when compared to the likes of the Atom.

Actually the whole point why this car is a success is that it is rather cheap when compared to other cars in its class. Plus it is easy to build and maintain to.

I agree with you. Less powerful plus hideous look? well, it’s really pointless and total waste of effort. If you’re smart enough then never bought this car!

I could courageously say that this car is pointless! There are better cars that is out in the market like KTM and Atom, so I don’t think its reasonable to purchase this car.

I remember the buggy car from the 80’s, though this time the car featured here is a lot better and even classed as a sports car. Lotus has lately been doing small cars that looks like it came from time machine. I wouldn’t even let it battle with Ariel Atom, it has already proven its insane speed for such a small car.

Yeah, I would agree with you on the tunability part. I hope they have included this one in the new Seven, that one will certainly attract a lot of enthusiasts.

One thing that I like about the whole Caterham Seven series is that these cars are rather easy to tune to your specs. You really don’t need to be an expert auto engineer to do this one.

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