Powering the new Caterham Seven entry-level model is a 660-cc, three-cylinder turbocharged engine from Suzuki Motor Corp., which would be the smallest and most efficient mill ever fitted in a Seven. By employing a compact and lightweight turbocharged engine to make it lightweight, the new Seven pays tribute to early models of the iconic Seven.
This downsized engine sends power to the wheels through a compact five-speed transmission, also from Suzuki. Caterham Group’s engineering unit – the Caterham Technology & Innovation (CTI) – has fine-tuned this lightweight gearbox to work in harmony with a re-engineered chassis which suspension system has been heavily revised.
Suzuki is considered as an ideal partner for Caterham in the latter’s quest for the most efficient and lightest Seven ever, as the Japanese carmaker is regarded as an expert in the field of compact and efficient vehicle design.
Moreover, CTI’s powertrain specialists managed to fine-tune Suzuki’s three-cylinder engine to match the attributes of the new Caterham Seven, thereby creating a car that could provide not only great performance on the road, but also enhanced fuel economy and lower emissions.
Graham Macdonald, chief executive of Caterham Cars, remarked that the size of the engine doesn’t matter in creating the right formula for the carmaker’s new entry-level vehicle, the so-called grin factor. He remarked that they intended the new car to offer the joy of driving a Seven distilled form, which resulted to a new entry-level car that isn’t just lighter and cheaper but also more economical and more accessible. MacDonald added that the new Seven is not just easy to run, but also offers a neutral, supple ride. Of course, it boasts of the sporting edge and turn-of-speed typical of a Seven.
Caterham will commence sales of the new Seven in Autumn this year at a price of below £17,000. Deliveries will commence as early as before end of 2013.
On the other hand, Suzuki remarked that the new Seven was an interesting and unique project. He noted that by supplying its powertrain to Caterham, which he described as having a reputation for building lightweight, low-volume sports cars, Suzuki’s sporty image will be enhanced.