Caterham have named its new entry-level model, the ‘Seven 165’ and confirmed that its 660cc three-cylinder turbocharged Suzuki K6A engine will produce a heady 80bhp.
That may not sound very much, but with a kerb weight of less than 500kg, the new 165 should accelerate as quickly as a Golf GTI, so its mandate of providing ‘accessible fun’ should be more than achievable.
Caterham have confirmed it will be priced from €25,000 in mainland Europe, with a different variant called the ‘Seven 160’ being available in the UK, priced at less than £17,000.
The number ‘5’ at the end of its name refers to the fact that it complies with the EU5 emissions standards, allowing it to be sold across mainland Europe – it also complies with the similar JC08 test mode for sales in Japan.
Despite the compact nature of the Suzuki powerplant, Caterham Group’s engineering consultancy (CTI) has fine-tuned the K6A engine to deliver a torque output of 79 lb-ft (107Nm), together with reduced fuel consumption and vehicle emissions.
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 sportscars, there will be a Caterham that suits you.”
A skeleton chassis of the car will be shown at this week’s Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Event at Millbrook, before its official debut at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Production is scheduled to begin in January 2014, with first deliveries later in the Spring.