New Caterham cars for Australia: cheaper, and faster than ever
Want an ultrabasic, ultrasharp motoring experience? Maybe you need a Caterham.
The Caterham range has expanded, becoming cheaper at the entry level and quicker at the top end. Here’s the revised range (all prices plus onroads):
- Seven 275 1.6L/100kW, entry level model, now at a lower price, $69,850
- Seven 275 S 1.6L/100kW, a new higher specification version, $83,300
- Seven 355 2.0L/127kW, new engine model, $86,900
- Seven 355 S 2.0L/127kW, comfort specification version, $93,900
- Seven 355 R 2.0L/127kW, track day focused version, $99,800
- Seven CSR 2.0L/127kW, the comfort oriented midrange model, $103,300
- Seven 485 S 2.0L/177kW, replaces 485, ultra-high performance model, $114,400
- Seven 485 R 2.0L/177kW, track day focused version, $127,000
Note: the terms above refer to Caterham standards which are different to the rest of the industry.
If a normal car can be rated from 1 to 10 for comfort, on the same scale a normal Caterham is about -5 and a “comfort” Caterham a -4. “Comfort” does not mean you get aircon, cruise control, satnav, self-parking, heated seats.
Similarly, if a normal sports car’s racetrack ability is rated from 1 to 10, then on the same scale Caterham starts at around 15 and moves up from there. Even the base model Caterhams will blatt around a track all day, whereas the track-focused R models are designed to embarrass supercars.
We have an in-depth look at Caterham for those not familiar with the marque, but here’s more on the new range.
This is the basic Caterham with a 5 speed manual gearbox, 1.6L 100kW engine, unpainted body and 14″ wheels. It does get a carpet interior, and full weather equipment – soft top and side screen doors – plus a lined boot. There’s even a heater. The 0-100 time is 5.5 seconds, and it uses only 6.2L/100km, so according to the Government it’s not luxury vehicle and it is officially fuel efficient.
Seven 275 S
Luxury! Now the body is painted, there’s a 12-volt power socket, leather seat trim and 15″ rims.
Options for both 275s include a 6-speed gearbox, limited-slip diff, adjustable swaybar, 4-point harness, track day rollover hoop, battery isolation switch, lowered floor option for taller drivers and a half-hood which allows the occupants to stay “largely dry, as long as the vehicle is being driven”. Refer previous notes on comfort.
Seven 355 and 355 S
Basically the same as the 275 except it has a 2.0L 127kW engine and the body is painted in one of four colours.
Seven 355 R
Come standard with a limited-slip differential, 15″ rims, adjustable swaybar and suspension.
This is a 275, but with adjustable pedals for drivers up to 6ft 5″ and the 2.0L engine from the 355. The suspension is adjustable. the brakes are larger and there’s some bling. The most luxurious Caterham!
Boasts a 2.0L 177kW motor, revs to 8500rpm, claimed to tingle spines. Caterham claim it is “equally at home on the track as the road”, something we’d query, and more believably say it is a “low maintenance high performance car”. The 0-100 time is under 5 seconds, and you won’t find anything else that can manage that with 177kW. Top speed is 240km/h, and a 6-speed manual is standard as are race brakes, limited slip diff, and a four-point harness.
Seven 485 R
That wasn’t enough? Have an R. Adds race dampers, aerofoil front wishbones, carbon stuff, gearchange lights.
You can find more on the Caterham range at http://www.caterhamcars.com.au/
We also wrote in detail about the future of Caterham and Morgan.