A new Caterham Supersport was unveiled today, although you’d be forgiven for asking what’s new about a design that’s been around for more than 40 years. Caterham describe it as “..the first brand new addition to the world-renowned Seven range in two years”, although that probably only serves to confuse you even more, so let’s cut to the chase and outline exactly what the term ‘new’ applies to.
This latest Supersport model is derived directly from the race car that competes in the highly-successful Caterham Supersport championship, the road-going edition borrows all of the track version’s performance essentials and then, for good measure, is fine-tuned for the road.
Caterham Cars engineering director, Mark Edwards, said: “The SP/300.R was our first brand new model for 15 years. But the Supersport is all about our roots. The Seven was born out of motorsport and this new model illustrates the values – accessibility, affordability and unadulterated fun – that have made Caterham the iconic brand it is today and which will ensure the Seven’s continuing global success.
“We’ve built faster and more powerful accelerating cars before, but the Supersport’s character, value and low running costs have generated a machine that will excite sportscar fans, including those on a budget.”
Priced from £19,995 (incl tax) in self-build form, the 140bhp Supersport carries a Caterham Motorsport-tuned 1.6-litre Ford Sigma engine, five-speed ‘sprint’ ratio gearing, lightweight flywheel and race-prepared suspension with CR500 Avon tyres on 13” wheels. The Supersport like other Caterham models promises a raw and unadulterated driving experience, which will be at home both on the road and on the track.
Equipped with a motorsport-honed limited-slip-differential and gearing with sports driving in mind, the Supersport also features uprated springs and dampers borrowed directly from its race car cousin, stiffer anti-roll bars, track biased dash with integrated change up lights and an aero screen. Composite race seats and a four-point race harness instead of standard seat belt complete the track-inspired experience.
Factory-built, the Supersport will cost £22,995 with enthusiasts able to purchase one in component form for £19,995. Weighing in at just 520kg, the 140bhp Ford powerplant will propel the Supersport from 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 120mph – making it more than quick enough for most people’s capabilities.
The Caterham Supersport Championship represents the third rung of its ‘motorsport ladder’ and is Caterham’s fastest-growing series. With 14 rounds over seven race weekends, the championship heads to the new Snetterton 300 circuit on 24-25th April.