Caterham Cars is getting ready to introduce an addition to its lineup: the Seven 310, claiming it represents the perfect balance of power and handling.
That’s quite a claim from the company that made the Superlight R300 that is widely regarded as the best ever Seven in terms of handling and balance.
Borrowing from Caterham’s motorsports program, the Seven 310 features an upgrade to the Ford 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine, with new high-performance camshafts and revised engine mapping that generates as much as 20 extra horsepower (up to 152 hp).
“It’s entirely fitting that the Seven 310, which we feel perfectly synchronises power and handling, has come out of the motorsport engineering process,” said Simon Lambert, Chief Motorsport and Technical Officer for Caterham Cars. “This car will be loved by Caterham enthusiasts but will also convert car fans in general who understand that creating a genuinely fun driving experience is not about simply adding more and more power; that often, less is more.
The engine was developed as an option for the Seven 270, but when combined with the new chassis set-up, it caused Caterham to consider creating a new model. Weighing in at around 500 kg, the Seven 310 will reportedly do zero to 100 km/h in under five seconds, with top speed limited to 202 km/h.
“When we were going through the engineering process on the race engine upgrade, we had one eye on the aftermarket,” explained Lambert. “But, once the re-worked car hit the road, we knew it was far too good to be marketed simply as an option. The Seven 310 was born.”
LED headlights (a novelty for Caterham) can be added as an option, and they will be available for other Sevens.
“If Caterham was only going to make one car for the rest of its days, this would be it,” concluded Lambert. “It’s like an unplanned baby. A wonderful surprise that instantly becomes your favourite. We weren’t expecting it but, of course, we wouldn’t change a thing now.
Priced at £24,995 (just over $43,000 Canadian), the new car can be ordered right now for deliveries in early 2017. Caterham Seven 270 owners can order the upgrade for £1,495 ($2,577). No word yet on whether it will be offered in North America, where the 270 is the top model.