Up until now, our European friends have been denied a Seven as manic as the Superlight R500, but thanks to the engineers at Caterham Technology & Innovation (CTI), they will soon have a choice.
The Caterham Seven 485 joins the existing EU5-compliant 1.6 and 2.0-litre models (sold in Europe, Japan and other territories), featuring a 237bhp 2.0-litre engine (26bhp less than a R500) in a 525kg shell, delivering a power-to-weight ratio of 450bhp per tonne.
That’s in-between the Superlight R400 (420bhp per tonne) and UK-only Superlight R500, but more than enough to deliver comparable thrills.
The 485 uses the same 2.0-litre Ford Duratec engine as other Sevens, but redeveloped to optimise between ultimate power and EU5-compliance. CTI’s engineers found an extra 64bhp over the existing 2.0-litre engine, delivering peak power at 8,500rpm and a stonking 118bhp per litre.
Performance is almost academic when it comes to a fast Seven. Naturally it’s quick, with 0 to 62mph being despatched in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 140mph. That’s mid-way between the ferocious R500 (2.97 seconds) and R400 (3.93 seconds).
Caterham Cars CEO, Graham Macdonald, said: “For years, mainland Europe and other key markets have craved a Seven with truly astounding performance like the UK-specific Superlight R500; the new model delivers similar excitement, whether on the road or track.
“Working with CTI, the objective was to satisfy those export markets which wanted that little bit more and to bring the continental range more in line with the UK offering.
“We’ve managed to squeeze huge performance out of the 2.0-litre engine without sacrificing any durability and I’ve no doubt the new car will be well-received, given the hunger for motorsport and high performance shown by our existing client base across Europe and beyond.”
New to the Seven range is a ‘Sport’ mode which, when selected, provides even sharper driving characteristics. Other key upgrades include a re-designed exhaust, with reduces back pressure and the additional benefit of weighing 13kgs less.
The new Seven 485 costs €43,495 (excluding local taxes), with production beginning in July and first deliveries shortly thereafter. Caterham will offer it in two variants, the 485S (optimised for road use) and 485R with a track oriented specification including limited slip differential.
IMAGES: courtesy of Caterham Cars.