The car still looks the same, but rest assured, it’s shape is probably the only thing it has in common with its predecessor: the R500 .
This is the Caterham Seven 620 R, the sports roadster that Caterham is touting as the replacement model of the range-topping R500.
Despite having the similar body character of pretty much everything Caterham has built in recent years, underestimating what the 620 R is capable of is an unwise thing to do. For one, it comes with an improved nose that allows for freer airflow. It also has a new gunmetal chassis, a race-spec cooling system, a De Dion rear suspension, a wide front track and a set of 13-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Avon ZZR tires.
Inside, the modifications were kept to simple yet profoundly indicative to the kind of car this sports roadster is. A "performance-focused instrumentation and ergonomic switchgear" was added, as was a new Q/R race-spec steering wheel, carbon-fiber racing seats, a carbon-fiber dash and carbon-fiber interior panels.
The Caterham Seven 620 R is powered by a 2.0-liter Ford Duratec engine that develops 311 horsepower and 219 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful and torque-filled Seven to date. This is enough oomph to hit 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds with a top speed of about 155 mph.
If you’re looking to see this car live and in the flesh for the first time, you should head over to the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month because that’s when Caterham will officially introduce the Seven 620 R to the world.
The 620 R will hit British showrooms in late 2013 at a base price of £49,995 ($74,272 at the current exchange rates). There is no mention of whether Caterham will release the 620 R in the U.S., but we’re pretty sure it will see our streets at about $65,000. For those that find this price a little too rich, Caterham plans to unveil a less expensive and milder 620 S later in 2013.
Click past the jump to read about the Caterham Seven
The Caterham Seven can be best described as a super-lightweight sports car that traces its history back to 1973 when it was based on the Lotus Seven. Back then, the model was offered with a Lotus Twin Cam engine but has since evolved in such a way that the current models come with either a 1600 Ford Sigma or a 2.0-liter Caterham Powertrain (CPT) Duratec.
In its base version, the engines deliver 125, 150 or 175 horsepower, while in the Superlight R600, the 2.0-liter engine delivers a total of 275 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque, good enough to allow the sports roadster to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.88 seconds with a top speed of 148 mph.
Gallery Caterham Superlight R600
Telegram From Caterham HQ – The Seven 620 R is unleashed
July 9, 2013
- Caterham Seven 620 R packs a 310bhp punch
- Supercharged sportscar will do 0-60mph in under 2.8s
- New range-topper deposes legendary R500
- Global debut at 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed
Caterham Cars will launch its most extreme Seven to date at the 2013 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 620 R 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 620 R 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 620 R at the top of the current range, replacing the legendary Superlight R500.
Caterham F1 Team driver Charles Pic will drive the 620 R 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 620 R 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 620 R 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 620 R 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 620 R 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 620 R 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 620 R 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 620 R, with first deliveries expected later this year.