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Suzuki-powered Caterham debuts. Image by Caterham.

Suzuki-powered Caterham debuts
Entry-level Caterham debuts at Frankfurt Motor Show.
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Newer articles featuring 2014 Caterham Seven

2014-05-28: F1-themed single-seat Caterham

What's the news?

Well, the Caterham Seven may be something of a minority interest in the wider motoring world, but to us enthusiasts it's the sine qua non of fun driving - following on from its Lotus Seven ancestor, it's always been light, compact, fun and robust. And please God don't ever let them change it...

Well, change it Caterham certainly has, but potentially change for the better. Out goes the ageing 1.6-litre Ford engine in the base model Seven and in comes a new engine from Suzuki. This is very good news indeed. Why? Because this is a tiny, light yet powerful engine with three little cylinders and a dinky turbocharger. It's actually taken from a Japanese market 'Kei' car, where it's essentially designed to be small enough to meet a Japanese tax-break regulation, but installed into a light, reactive Caterham 7 165, well, that's another story altogether.

The car is called the Caterham Seven 165, a reference primarily to the confirmed 80hp produced by the 660cc Suzuki K6A engine - after enhancements made by the Caterham Group's engineering consultancy, Caterham Technology & Innovation. Output of 80hp doesn't sound like much but then the Seven is one of those rare cars that's lighter than the box it comes in, so performance should be at the very least enjoyably brisk.

Caterham Cars CEO, Graham Macdonald, said: "The engineering process involved in the creation of the Caterham Seven 165 is nearing completion and, as we piece together the final elements, the car we believe will inspire a new generation of drivers to become Caterham enthusiasts is taking shape in exciting fashion.

"Earlier this year, we launched the fastest, most powerful production Seven we've ever launched in Europe - the Seven 485. The 165 will sit at the opposite end of the scale, both in engine size and price, but the beautiful thing is that the two cars will offer exactly the same level of pure driving fun. Whether you're a seasoned, hardcore driver or whether you're new to sports cars, there will be a Caterham that suits you."

Suits you too, sir.

Anything else?

While the 165 is a pleasingly simple riposte to the rip-snorting supercharged 620R revealed earlier this year, we're still waiting to see the all-new full-body Caterham that's being developed in co-operation with Renault and Alpine. We had hoped to see it at Frankfurt, but it didn't appear. Will Caterham's big reveal planned for the weekend of the Singapore Grand Prix give us our first taste of the future?

Neil Briscoe - 12 Sep 2013    - Caterham road tests
- Caterham news
- Seven images

F1-themed single-seat Caterham. Image by Caterham.
Limited Caterham
Limited edition single-seat Caterham Seven for the Japanese market only.
Caterham Seven 160 is go. Image by Caterham.
Basic Caterham on sale
Caterham returns to its roots with cheap, simple self-assembly Seven.
Caterham reveals its future. Image by Caterham.
Caterham's concept
Closed bodywork for new AeroSeven concept car from Caterham.

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