In 2013, Caterham launched the Seven 620R as the most extreme Seven in the nameplate’s storied history. More than two years have passed, and the 620R is still the quickest Seven you can drive on public roads, returning supercar-like sprints and featuring the same iconic bodywork Colin Chapman designed in the 1950s. Starting in 2016, however, the 620R is no longer alone at the top of the Seven lineup. Joining in is the 620S, a more road-oriented version that’s part of Caterham’s recent reorganization of its sports car stable.

As you may remember, the Brits decided to rename most of its models so that all Sevens are identified by their horsepower outputs, as well as introduce two performance packs, S and R, for each version. With the 620 already being available in the extreme R configuration, Caterham launched a slightly milder version, wearing a "620S" badge. And by milder I mean a roadster that’s a bit more comfortable as a daily driver, but not less powerful, as the 620S uses the same powerplant as its range-topping sibling. The former is significantly slower though due to its less sporty transmission, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out more about that.

The bad news here is that, just like the 620R, the 620S won’t be sold in the United States. Although some models are available on these shores via Superformance, the 620 series won’t cross the pond to North America anytime soon.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Caterham 620S.

Exterior

2016 Caterham Seven 620S High Resolution Interior
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2016 Caterham Seven 620S High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Caterham Seven 620S High Resolution Exterior
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Design-wise, the 620S is very similar to the 620R and you need to take a very close look to find what sets them apart. As it was developed as a more road-oriented 620R, the 620S comes with extra comfort features such as a full windscreen and side screens. To further enhance comfort, Caterham replaced the 620R’s 13-inch wheels with 15-inch Orcus alloys wrapped in more road-suited ZZS tires. Another feature that sets the 620S apart is that the rear-exiting exhaust pipe. On the 620R, the exhaust exits under the right door, toward the rear fender.

Other than that, the 620S comes with the same goodies as the 620R, as well as the same customization options.

Standard features include composite front and rear wings and an Aero filler cap. Much like other Caterhams, the 620S is supplied unpainted as standard, in aluminum finish with colored fiber glass or unpainted carbon-fiber parts depending on options.

Standard paints include only yellow, blue, green, orange, black, and red, but Caterham says it can paint the car in "any color you wish." Finishes include non-metallic, metallic, and pearlescent. The 620S can also be ordered with a painted front grille, painted noseband, a decal pack, and side stripes. Buyers can also have the "Caterham" lettering in either black or white.

Other options include an interchangeable carbon wind deflector, carbon-vinyl half doors, a carbon-vinyl tonneau cover, carbon-fiber front and rear wings, and a Black pack. More importantly, the 620S can be built on the wide-bodied SV chassis, which is longer and wider than the standard S3 chassis, providing a better experience for more generously-proportioned customers, as well as added interior and luggage space, and a larger fuel tank.

Interior

2016 Caterham Seven 620S High Resolution Interior
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2016 Caterham Seven 620S High Resolution Interior
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2016 Caterham Seven 620S High Resolution Interior
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Much like the 620R, the 620S has a race-inspired interior that’s rather spartan and not exactly comfortable. The main feature that sets it apart from its R-badged sibling are the leather seats, which replace the standard carbon seats in the 620R. However, customers that would like to have the lighter carbon seats can order them from the options list. Caterham also offers heated carbon seats for an additional fee.

Standard equipment also includes four-point race harnesses for the seats, a carbon-fiber dashboard, bespoke instruments, Momo steering wheel, heater, and a 12-Volt socket. From the options list, buyers can pick between side screen armrests, Momo quick-release steering wheel, plumbed-in fire extinguisher, and a battery master cut-off switch. Also, there are three available roll bars: Track-day, Sport and Race.

Drivetrain

2016 Caterham Seven 620S High Resolution Drivetrain
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Under the hood, the 620S is identical to the 620R, using the same supercharged, 2.0-liter, Ford Duratec engine rated at 310 horsepower and 219 pound-feet of twist. However, because the 620S is 38 kg heavier, the 0 to 60 mph sprint raises from 2.8 to 3.4 seconds, while top speed decreases from 155 to 144 mph. The slightly reduced performance figures are also the result of the 620S using a five-speed manual gearbox instead of the 620R’s race-inspired, sequential transmission. Still, the 620S is a pretty quick machine and more than suitable for a fun-filled weekend at the track, despite the milder gearbox.

Standard features for the roadster include a limited-slip differential, a lightweight flywheel, and a rear anti-roll bar.

Keeping the 620S on its best behavior is a sport suspension and 15-inch, Orcus alloy wheels wrapped in ZZS tires. Stopping power comes from ventilated brake discs with quad-piston calipers. Optionally, customers can add a race suspension package and 13-inch Apollo wheels shod in ZZR rubber.

Prices

2016 Caterham Seven 620S High Resolution Exterior
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The Caterham 620S retails from £44,995 (about $64,810 at current exchange rates,) a £5,000 ($7,200) drop from the range-topping 620R. The most expensive option is the wide-bodied, SV chassis at £2,500, while the Sport and Race roll cage fetch £850 and £950, respectively. The Race sport suspension costs £730, the full weather equipment £650, and the heated carbon-fiber seats will set you back £1,000. Paints aren’t exactly cheap either, with the pearlescent hues priced at £750 and the metallic shades priced at £500. For the On-The-Road package, which includes 12 months road fund license, IVA inspection, 1st registration fee, number plates, and delivery to Caterham South dealership, you’ll have to pay £800.

Competition

Ariel Atom 3S

2015 Ariel Atom 3S High Resolution Exterior
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The Ariel Atom 3S is insanity pushed to a whole new level.

When it comes to lightweight sports cars, the Ariel Atom 3S is one of the best you can buy. Although it lacks a proper body shell and the brand cachet that comes with a Caterham Seven, the Atom S3 will more than make up for that through power and speed. Motivation comes from a Honda-sourced, turbocharged, 2.4-liter engine that pumps 365 horsepower through either Ariel’s standard close-ratio manual or a new, race-spec sequential gearbox by Sadev. Hitting 60 mph from a standing start takes only 2.8 seconds in the Atom 3S, which makes it quicker than both the 620S and 620R. Unlike the 620S, the Atom 3S is available in the U.S., where it can be had for $89,975 before options.

Find out more about the Ariel Atom 3S here.

KTM X-Bow GT

2014 KTM X-Bow GT High Resolution Exterior
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The X-Bow is another sports car that was built with lightness in mind. The GT model gets its oomph from an Audi-sourced, 2.0-liter turbo-four that cranks out 281 horses and 309 pound-feet of torque. Because it’s a bit heavier than the 620S and Atom at 1,867 pounds, the X-Bow GT is not as impressive when it comes to hitting 60 mph from a standing start — it takes about four seconds to complete the sprint, while top speed sits at 143 mph. Pricing doesn’t come cheap either, with customers having to fork over at least $100,000 to take one home.

Read more about the KTM X-Bow GT here.

Conclusion

2016 Caterham Seven 620S High Resolution Exterior
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The Caterham 620R is the perfect vehicle if you need a track toy for fun-filled weekends on the Silverstone or the Nurburgring. However, the range-topping Seven isn’t exactly comfortable as a daily driver. The 620S comes to fix that issue (in part at least) with a more road-oriented gearbox, more comfortable leather seats as standard, and a full windscreen. Granted, the 620S is still a brutal machine even with all the aforementioned upgrades, but it should make driving it in the city on a daily basis a lot more pleasant, without reducing its track capabilities by much.

  • Leave it
    • * Significantly heavier and slower than the 620R
    • * Not coming to the U.S.

Press Release

Caterham Cars has introduced the ‘S’ Pack and the wider-bodied S5 chassis as options for the fastest road car it has ever produced.

2016 Caterham Seven 620S High Resolution Exterior
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The Seven 620S is the mildly saner, more road-oriented sibling of the ballistic 620R and features comforts such as a full windscreen, hood and side screens, as well as leather seats.

For the first time, the Seven 620 can also now be specified with the wide-bodied S5 chassis as an option costing £2,500. The S5 is wider and longer than the standard S3 chassis, providing an experience better suited for more generously-proportioned customers, with other benefits including added interior and luggage space and increased range thanks to a larger fuel tank.

The 620S, priced at £44,995 (incl VAT) fully built, joins the 620R at the summit of the Seven range by harnessing the same 310bhp two-litre, supercharged Ford Duratec engine to deliver outrageous performance for those drivers who feel that the iconic Seven just isn’t barnstorming enough.

Delivering a new driving experience, the 620S has been tailored for road drivers, with a five-speed manual gearbox instead of the 620R’s more race-inspired sequential ‘box.

Like all Sevens, the 620S adheres to Caterham’s philosophy of delivering a very special brand of unapologetically raucous fun.

Meanwhile, Caterham’s traditionally minimalistic approach to the engineering of the car is ever-present, with the carbon fibre interior panels and dash and lightweight flywheel of the 620R installed to save kilograms vital to the car’s trouser-worrying performance.

2016 Caterham Seven 620S High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The car features the creature comforts of the ‘S’ pack available throughout the Seven range such as a heater, full windscreen, hood and side screens and leather seats. However, while the ‘S’ pack features road springs and dampers, the uprated brake master cylinder and limited-slip differential are taken from the ‘R’ pack to ensure optimum performance.

The styling continues with the 620R’s 13” wheels replaced by 15” Orcus anthracite alloy wheels fitted with more road-suited ZZS tyres.

Customers looking to venture out in colder conditions can now experience the warming delights of heated seats in a Caterham Seven for the very first time. Heated carbon seats are now available as an option on all models in the range.

The 620R comes with carbon seats as standard; an upgrade to heated carbon seats is available for £395. The 620S comes with leather seats as standard with an upgrade to carbon seats available for £600 or £995 for heated carbon seats.

Caterham Cars CEO, Graham Macdonald, said: “When we launched the 620R, we knew that we were unleashing a beast upon the world. It’s never been one for the faint-hearted and should really come with its own health warning.

“But we are, of course, sensitive also to those customers who want the ridiculous performance stats without having to worry about donning race overalls to access them. The new options mean that customers who want the best of both worlds can have exactly that, whether their aim is to pound around the race tracks of the UK or take a Sunday drive, albeit a deliriously exciting one.”

Orders are now being taken for the Caterham Seven 620 with the ‘S’ pack and the S5 chassis options, with first deliveries expected later this year.

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