Caterham Plans Three New Seven Variants for 2015
Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz aren’t the only automakers looking to revamp their lineups with new naming schemes. Caterham is at it as well, with three new Seven variants to be launched in 2015 in order to simplify its lineup. Simply put, the Brits are upgrading the Roadsport, Superlight and Supersport versions of the Seven and using the occasion to rename them based on the same power-to-weight ratio used for the entry-level 160 and range-topping 620R models.
According to Autocar, the new models will receive engine upgrades as well as a host of styling changes compared to the models they replace. Of the three, only the Superlight R400 has its power-to-weight ratio figure listed in its name. The 210-horsepower sports car boasts 400 ponies per metric ton. Roadsport models are identified by their horsepower outputs — 125 and 140 — while the Supersport is sold as base and R spec.
Caterham also plans to offer a choice of two performance packs for each model, the source adds. Customers will be able to spec the base car with either an R or an S package, with the latter to be the most extreme. There’s no word on what kind of upgrades these packages will add, but we expect a host of chassis modifications and other race-bred parts.
The Seven CSR, currently the most extreme Seven-based model in the lineup, will continue unchanged as a stand-alone vehicle.
The first of the updated, renamed Seven models is expected to break cover in spring 2015.
Click past the jump to read more about the Caterham Seven.
Why it matters
Although it has only six models in its Seven lineup, it appears Caterham has realized that things can get rather confusing in the absence of a simple naming strategy. With the Roadsport, Superlight and Supersport models renamed according to their respective power-to-ratio figures, things should become a lot more simpler for customers, especially those not very familiar with the Caterham brand and its products.
Designed by automotive genius Colin Chapman and launched in 1957 under the Lotus badge, the Seven has become one of the most iconic sports cars ever built. Sold as a Lotus until 1972 and as a Caterham since 1973, the tiny, no-nonsense Seven has been offered in many configurations throughout the decades. However, the little roadster has yet to lose Chapman’s "simplify, then add lightness" ethos, despite being fitted with modern technology and increasingly powerful engines.
In Britain, the Seven lineup consists of six different models as of 2014. The range begins with the Suzuki-powered 160 model and continues with the Roadsport, Supersport and Superlight models. As we go up in the range, the cars are lighter, more powerful and more track-focused. At the top of the range sits the Seven CSR with its F1-style suspension and the 620R, Caterham’s fastest road car ever.
In the United States, customers can order two models for the 2015 model year. There’s the 180-horsepower 360 model with a power-to-weight ratio of 336 ponies per tonne, and the 237-horsepower 480 version with a power-to-weight ratio of 451 ponies. Pricing for the former starts from $44,900, while the latter retails from $52,900.