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Caterham Seven 620R Binges On Donuts On Its Way To New Record

Caterham Seven 620R Binges On Donuts On Its Way To New Record

Decorated Olympian helps the sports car reach the pinnacle of donuts and tire burnouts

Can you eat 19 donuts in 60 seconds? If you answered “yes,” then I don’t know what to tell you. But, if you answered “no,” then consider yourself as having sound mind and body. The folks over at Caterham probably can’t achieve the same feat, but they won’t need to because they did something better and didn’t have to eat any donuts in the process. Instead of devouring a tasty treat, Caterham set a record by unleashing the Seven 620R on a record-breaking donut run, completing 19 tire-squealing turns in a matter of 60 seconds.

With no less than six-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Chris Hoy behind the wheel of the Caterham Seven 620R, Caterham was able to complete 19 consecutive donuts of the automotive kind during a 60-second run at the Donington Park in the UK. The record attempt was performed as part of the Seven sports car’s 60th anniversary. In fact, the attempt itself was the latest in a string of celebrations that the company has hosted to celebrate the anniversary, a feat in itself considering how far along the Seven sports car has come since it broke into the auto scene all the way back in 1957. For its part, the Seven 620R was the perfect vehicle-of-choice to set the new record. Not only does it pack an impressive, 2.0-liter Ford engine that produces 310 horsepower, but it also comes equipped with a limited slip differential and a set of ultra-high performance Avon ZZS tires, essentially turning it into the perfect car for something as specific as a donut challenge. Having Sir Chris Hoy, whose exploits in cycling propelled him to knighthood, added some shine to the record-setting achievement, despite the Olympian not being as used to driving on four wheels as he regularly does on two. “During the attempt I just kept going, putting everything I’d learned into practice,” Hoy said. “You lose sense of time when you’re in a spin, so I was shocked when I was told I’d completed 19 in 60 seconds – it was more than I expected.”

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2017 Caterham Seven SuperSprint

2017 Caterham Seven SuperSprint

Special edition anniversary model sells out in seven hours

In today’s world where power and technology have become more and more important among automakers, it’s nice to see a company go in the complete opposite direction with a special edition offering that not only has 95 horsepower at its disposal but also packs the technological equivalent of a soapbox racer. This is the Caterham Seven SuperSprint, a special edition version of the retro-static Seven that was created to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the legendary Lotus Seven.

The lightweight, two-seater Seven SuperSprint is about as fitting a tribute as you can have for a car that itself defined itself by the same tenets. The old Lotus Seven was not the most technologically advanced car of its time and neither is the Seven SuperSprint. But that’s not why the Seven SuperSprint is being offered. It’s a callback to the days when 95 horsepower was more than enough to provide a fun, open-air drive, provided that the car itself is as light as a strand of hair. The Seven SuperSprint even looks the part of a 1950’s racer. It features period-specific styling that today’s Caterham still adopts. It even comes with a choice of six different paint finishes with stories of their own, a completely spartan interior that looks to have been frozen in time, and a small three-cylinder engine that has enough power to really make the limited edition retro racer shine in any era. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that shortly after the SevenSuperSprint made its debut at the Goodwood Revival last week, Caterham made all 60 units available to the public. And as quick as that happened, all 60 units, priced at £29,995 ($40,450) each, sold out in a matter of seven hours.

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2017 Caterham Seven Harrods Special Edition

2017 Caterham Seven Harrods Special Edition

Caterham launches Caterham Signature, the company’s first personalization program

Arguably one of the most iconic sports car ever built, the Seven has been around for nearly six decades. Launched in 1957 by Lotus, the marque was later purchased by Caterham, which introduced its very own take on the roadster in 1973. Although Caterham refined the design, introduced new materials, and better engines, the Seven soldiered on into the 21st century mostly unchanged, being built on the same recipe that automotive genius Colin Chapman outlined in the 1950s.

The current Seven lineup includes no fewer than six road-going models, but Caterham has also launched several special-edition roadsters in recent years. In October 2016, the British firm unveiled yet another special Seven, dubbed Harrods Edition. As the name suggests, it is inspired by Britain’s upmarket department store, but what’s more important here is that the Harrods Edition marks the debut of Caterham Signature, the company’s first personalization program.

Available exclusively at Harrods, the Harrods Edition includes a host of special features which "demonstrate the breadth of options new Caterham buyers can add to their vehicles." Extra features include paint colors and designs, dashboard and interior styling, embroidery, and even the color of the chassis.

"The Caterham Seven has always been one of the easiest cars on the road to personalize, because every car is hand-built and bespoke for each customer. But now we’ve formalized the personalization options available to our customers into the Caterham Signature program, which will outline the almost infinite combinations of options you can select. You can even have your name stitched into the seat," said David Ridley, Caterham’s chief commercial officer.

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Caterham Seven Sprint Sold Out In 7 Days

Caterham Seven Sprint Sold Out In 7 Days

All 60 units of the retro-inspired Seven are gone

Earlier this month, Caterham unveiled the Sprint, a limited-edition of the Seven paying tribute to the original car built by Colin Chapman in the 1950s. Only a week has passed since the Sprint revealed its retro-inspired look to the world, and all 60 units have been sold, making it one of the quickest-selling sports cars launched in recent years.

The achievement is that much more impressive given that Caterham sells around 500 cars per year, which means that the Sprint helped the company sell more than 10 percent of its annual sales figure in just a week. And all this while the Sprint, which is based on the entry-level Seven 160, was priced at £27,995, or as much as a more powerful, better equipped Seven 420.

"We have been overwhelmed with the response to the Sprint. We knew of course it was a great product but the reaction we got is unprecedented. It’s been the perfect scene-setter to our 60 Years of Seven celebrations," said David Ridley, Caterham’s chief commercial officer.

Despite all 60 units being already accounted for, customers may still have a chance to purchase a Sprint. According to the brand, not all have been sold to customers, with a few examples set to be delivered to British and European dealers. While this may be great news for enthusiasts that didn’t manage to place an order in time, the remaining Sprints are likely to be sold with a massive premium. It has happened in the past with rare, limited-edition models, and the Seven Sprint is likely to have a similar fate.

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Here's a Caterham Seven you can actually afford

Here’s a Caterham Seven you can actually afford

Build your own Seven from LEGO bricks for less than $100

Caterham is one of the very few automakers that offer its vehicles as kits that you can assemble yourself. You can do this with basically every Seven currently on offer, except the new, limited-edition Sprint and the track-ready 620R. Actually, as of October 2016 you’ll be able to build your own 620R too, but you’ll have to settle for a LEGO set in order to do that.

Caterham has just announced that the 620R has become its first-ever vehicle to be immortalized in LEGO form. The extreme sports car was recently submitted to the LEGO Ideas platform, a process that all models have to go through in order to be selected for production, and gained the required 10,000 votes from LEGO fans around the world.

The set consists of 771 pieces, including a replica 620R engine and gear stick, while the assembled model car stands 10 cm (3.9 inches) tall and 28 cm (11 inches) long. Features include a removable nose, removable engine hood, opening trunk, and a working steering wheel. Pricing is set at £69 in the United Kingdom and at $79.99 in the United States. Quite affordable compared to the real thing, which retails from £44,995.

Caterham is pretty enthusiastic about the 620R being picked as the next LEGO set and jokes about how its technicians downed their tools to pickup up the plastic and created the model together with LEGO. It even describes the tiny 620R as capable of reaching "a heart-racing top speed of 6mph."

“Caterham has always prided itself on producing bespoke, hand-built cars for its customers. Our army of fans who build their own Caterham Sevens are equally discerning when it comes to the detail and craftsmanship which is central to Caterham, and we worked closely with the LEGO team to ensure the LEGO model replicated that," said Caterham chief commercial officer, David Ridley.

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2017 Caterham Seven Sprint

2017 Caterham Seven Sprint

Caterham pays tribute to the original Lotus Seven with vintage-looking limited-edition

While most automobile nameplates are usually split into generations, it’s impossible to do the same with the Caterham Seven. Ever since the British firm bought the rights to the Seven marque in 1973, the lightweight roadster has changed very little design-wise, with its most important upgrades lying underneath the bodywork. And, while the current model is definitely a big step forward technology wise, it’s difficult to describe it as being part of a certain generation. What we do know for a fact is that the Seven has become a full-fledged family of cars in recent years, being available in six different versions, not including the race-spec models. In 2017, Caterham celebrates 60 years since Lotus first introduced the nameplate with a limited-edition variant called the Seven Sprint.

Based on the entry-level Seven 160, the Sprint is described as a variant of the Seven that "was seemingly planned in the mid-1960s but never launched." Caterham is likely referring to the Sprint being part of Lotus’ plans for the sports car, but cancelled for various reasons. What’s important here to know for historical reasons, is that the Sprint celebrates 60 years since Lotus introduced the Seven nameplate in 1957. For those of you who aren’t very familiar with the Seven’s history, Caterham bought the rights to the sports car from Lotus in 1973, when it started making its own version. Some 44 years have passed, and Caterham looked back upon the original Seven and created a vintage-looking, limited-edition model for die-hard enthusiasts.

"We have always prided ourselves on continually developing the Seven during the 44 years we have been custodian of the model. But we never wished to dismiss our heritage either and I know there are plenty of Seven purists and aficionados out there who will really appreciate the level of detail we’ve gone to with the Sprint to resurrect the spirit of those early cars," said Graham Macdonald, Caterham Cars CEO.

Continue reading to learn more about the Caterham Seven Sprint.

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This is How Caterham's Alpine Coupe Twin Was Supposed To Look Like

This is How Caterham’s Alpine Coupe Twin Was Supposed To Look Like

Definitely sexier than its French counterpart

Back in 2011, Alpine announced that it would produce its first car in two decades as part of a joint-venture with British sports car firm Caterham. Initially scheduled to arrive in 2015, the new Alpine was delayed after the French company and Caterham decided to drop their partnership, despite having a co-developed vehicle in the works. And, while Alpine continued to develop its own version of the sports car, Caterham’s design never made it into the spotlight. Until today, when Drive, the design firm that sketched the sports car, decided to share the story and some photos from their studio.

Dubbed C120, Caterham’s version of the sports car was designed in the same studio as the AS1. Drive’s team of designers and digital modelers were given a space within Alpine’s design office, which lead to the C120 and AS1 clay models facing each other in the same room. Not surprisingly, they share the overall proportion and some styling features, but at the same time they sport unique cues of their own.

While the Alpine obviously draws cues from the iconic A110, Caterham’s take on the project is unlike any other model they’ve produced so far. Which makes sense actually, as every Caterham to date was based on the Seven. Granted, the front grille and positioning of the headlamps remind me of the Seven to some extent, but everything else is new. Around back, the C120 shares many elements with the AS1, such as the slender taillights and trapezoidal diffuser insert, but other than that, they are quite different, as in the Caterham uses a more conventional engine lid with a rectangular glass area rather than Alpine’s wraparound windscreen.

Moving onto the sides, the Caterham features more muscular fenders and a larger quarter glass, and a more fastback roofline toward the rear. The C-pillar is also thicker, giving it a sportier look. The front fascia also seems more aggressive thanks to its big main, Seven-inspired grille and large outlets under each headlamp. All told, the C120 feels more modern and balanced than the Alpine, and it’s also more exciting to look at.

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2017 Caterham Seven 310

2017 Caterham Seven 310

Aftermarket engine upgrade spawns new Seven model; expands lineup to six models

Introduced in 1973, when Caterham bought the rights to the design from Lotus, who had produced the sports car since 1957, the Caterham Seven soldiered on mostly unchanged until the 21st century. Of course, Caterham refined the design, introduced new materials, and better engines, but overall, the Seven is being built on the same recipe that Colin Chapman outlined 60 years ago.

Caterham indeed made an important change recently, but it has nothing to do with the lightweight architecture or its classic styling. The Brits turned the Seven into a proper family of sports cars, adding numerous street and track-only versions. The Seven 310 is the latest to join the lineup and expands the number of road-legal offerings to no fewer than six.

Described as a "perfect balance of power and confidence-inspiring handling characteristics" that harken back to the Superlight R300 model, the Seven 310 is heavily based on the 270 model. And by "heavily based" I mean that it is essentially a 270 with an upgraded engine. Caterham says the 310 was born out of a "happy accident" when the company took the upgrade engine, which was destined to be an aftermarket option, to the streets, realizing that it would make for a great production model.

“It’s entirely fitting that the Seven 310, which we feel perfectly synchronizes power and handling, has come out of the motorsport engineering process. This car will be loved by Caterham enthusiasts but will also convert car fans in general who understand that creating a genuinely fun driving experience is not about simply adding more and more power; that often, less is more," said Simon Lambert, chief of motorsport and technical officer for Caterham.

Keep reading to learn all about the Caterham Seven 310

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evo Puts The Caterham Seven 420R Around The Track: Video

evo Puts The Caterham Seven 420R Around The Track: Video

Low weight, simple design, pure driving pleasure

What makes a good track day car? For starters, it’s gotta be fast. Just as important, though, it’s gotta be fun to drive. In fact, for mere mortals like you and I, I’d argue that the fun factor takes priority over lower lap times. After all, unless your paycheck depends on a podium finish, track days are just a way to have a good time. evo recently took a look at a handful of the latest circuit monsters in its Track Car of the Year test, and one of the biggest smiles-per-miles generators was the Caterham Seven 420R. But what makes it so darn good?

The formula is definitely old school – engine up front, power in the back, and not much in between. In fact, one of the defining characteristics of the Caterham Seven is its incredible simplicity. Not only does that mean less stuff to break and a lower price to buy (both highly desirable traits in a track car), but it also means low weight. Even with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and 210 horsepower, the 420R still manages to hit 60 mph in less than four seconds thanks to its incredible power-to-weight ratio.

But like I said, it’s about more than just speed. Feel behind the wheel is every bit as important, and clearly, the Caterham has the goods. “There’s just so much going on,” says evo contributing editor Jethro Bovingdon. “You’re being sort of attacked on all sides. Your senses are just absolutely lit up by this crazed little car.”

Sounds like fun.

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Caterham Will Use Bicycle Technology To Cut Weight

Caterham Will Use Bicycle Technology To Cut Weight

Century old bicycle technology may provide a stronger and lighter chassis for the Caterham Seven

Caterham has teamed up CAE consultant Simpact and bicycle tube-makers Renolds Technology to build a new lightweight frame for the Caterham Seven. It almost seems like a backward step in technology, but this new frame is actually made using the same butted tube technology used to build bicycles – a process that was patented by Renolds Technology back in 1897. According to the trio, the new frame design shaves 10 percent of the weight from the Seven’s chassis, and up to 50 percent of mass from some parts without any sacrifice to the chassis’ torsional stiffness or strength.

A prototype Caterham Seven debuted at the Niche Vehicle Network Symposium earlier this month, and from the look of things, the technology is almost ready to shift into production models. Caterham says optioning for this new lightweight frame on future Seven models should cost between £1,000 and £2,000. At current exchange rates, that would mean a premium somewhere between $1,444 and $2,889.

The CTO of Caterham Cars, Simon Lambert, said, "Caterham and Reynolds are two proudly British brands, and there is a real synergy between customers of Caterham and cycling enthusiasts, so it’s even better that the technology that has made this possible has come from the two-wheeled world."

According to Caterham, the technology can even be adopted by other companies that are currently using space frames. For now, the British automaker will continue to develop the prototype that debuted earlier this month, with a view to launch a production model using the new frame technology in “due course.”

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2016 Caterham Seven 620S

2016 Caterham Seven 620S

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.

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2016 Caterham Superlight Twenty

2016 Caterham Superlight Twenty

2015 has been a busy year for Caterham thus far, as the Brits updated the Roadsport, Superlight, and Supersport versions of the Seven, while also renaming them based on the same power-to-weight ratio used for the entry-level 2014 Caterham Seven 160 and range-topping 2013 Caterham Seven 620R models. Also, Caterham introduced a choice of two performance packs for each model. Now that the new 2015 Caterham Seven 270, 2015 Caterham Seven 360, and 2015 Caterham Seven 420 are already in showrooms, the brand is launching yet another new car.

Meet the Superlight Twenty, the limited-edition, track-ready model built to celebrate an iconic sports car from the 1990s.

Packed with several carbon-fiber body parts and an array of suspension updates, the Twenty comes to the market as the spiritual successor of the Superlight 1.6. Launched in 1996 as an even lighter, more powerful, yet more affordable version of the Seven, the Superlight 1.6 will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2016. With the Twenty, Caterham aims to celebrate the two decades since it introduced the car became one of the company’s most coveted models, while also inspiring the development of current products.

The Superlight Twenty will debut at the 2015 Goodwood Revival before it goes on sale later this year in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, it won’t be offered in the U.S.

Continue reading to learn more about the Caterham Superlight Twenty.

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