A Caterham with steel wheels?

Well this is new. We have to say we kinda like it! The idea of a downmarket, ‘poverty-spec’ Caterham on skinny tires, er, tyres doesn’t repel us in the slightest— far from it. Just look at it. Wouldn’t you?

From the horse’s mouth:

BACK TO THE FUTURE: CATERHAM LAUNCHES SEVEN 160

- Priced from £14,995 or 17,995 fully built
– Suzuki-powered 660cc Seven with new live-axle will be ultimate in ‘accessible fun’
– UK variant named Seven 160; EU gets 165

Caterham Cars has opened the order book for the Seven 160 – its new entry-level variant of the iconic sportscar, powered by a super-compact, turbocharged Suzuki engine.

Priced from £14,995 in component form, the car’s live-axle rear suspension, compact engine and low weight embody the pioneering spirit of early Sevens and represent a new entry-point to the Seven range.

The Seven 160 – EU customers will get an altered version, called 165 – produces 80hp from its 660cc, three-cylinder, turbocharged engine, enabling it to accelerate to 60mph in a brisk 6.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 100mph.

With fleet-of-foot charm and handling finesse, rather than outright performance dictating the driving experience, the new car redefines the budget sportscar segment while introducing new levels of efficiency and value for money to the Caterham range.

Caterham Cars CEO, Graham Macdonald, said: “As the Caterham Group as a whole grows and expands into new sectors and industries, our commitment to keep evolving the Seven is very much alive.

“The 160 offers something truly different to the entry-level market. It’s more economical, more accessible and every bit as fun on the road as other Sevens but has its own unique personality.”

The new rear axle, a throwback to early Sevens in terms of simplicity and purity of design, complements the Suzuki Motor Corporation engine and lower overall body weight, while delivering Caterham’s acclaimed, intuitive handling experience and a balanced yet playful chassis.

To meet the desired performance criteria, the Caterham Group’s engineering consultancy, Caterham Technology & Innovation (CTI), fine-tuned engine performance from its standard output of 64hp to 80hp, while boosting fuel economy and reducing vehicle emissions. The vehicle conforms to EU5, EU6 and JC08 emissions regulations.

Macdonald continued: “The engineering challenges we faced when developing the new vehicle were significant. The engine, suspension and the overall dynamics all needed to work in harmony and the various arms of the Group have been successful in pooling facilities and expertise to achieve that.”

The number five at the end of the EU spec car’s moniker signifies that the vehicle complies with the EU5 emissions standards, allowing it to be sold across mainland Europe and beyond.

Production of the Caterham Seven 160 and 165 is expected to begin in January 2014, with first deliveries later that Spring.

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~ by motoringconbrio on October 30, 2013.

7 Responses to “A Caterham with steel wheels?”

  1. the skinnier the tires, the lesser the grip, the more the fun, very simple formula that not a lot of people understand

  2. he is right as always. I realised that some years ago when I changed the original tire combination of my Elise from 185 front / 205 rear to the Advan Neova LTS specifically developed at a later date by Lotus and Yokohama for the car, at 195/225. Higher cornering speeds, much less fun…

  3. Reblogged this on Just Another Pistonhead and commented:
    Recently the Caterham (of the UK) release their budget offering in the form of a 14,995 british pound racer. Deemed ‘poverty-spec’ by some, the fun to be had in this open top road toy is surely endless. The new Caterham Seven 160 will feature a three-cylinder engine producing around 80hp and capable of 100mph. Amenities you ask? None. But that’s the beauty of it. Having nothing to break the concentration of an extremely pure driving experience. Though not sold in the US, the Caterham will hit UK and Euro markets in the spring of 2014.

  4. I’d take one. tho I would probably put on some slightly snazzier (but not wider) wheels. I think too many sports cars have become too big (wide) and heavy and over powered. This is a true discerning auto enthusiast’s machine.

  5. Skinny tires or no, this thing would be enough fun to illegal and banned in the US (we can’t be having too much fun now can we?). As long as I could get it in LHD, I want one.

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