Caterham 21

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Caterham 21
Caterham 21.jpg
Manufacturer Caterham Cars
Designer Iain Robertson
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
Related Caterham Seven
Engine 1588 cc straight-4
1795 cc straight-4
Curb weight 648 kg (1,429 lb)

The Caterham 21 is a two-seat roadster designed and hand built by Caterham Cars. It was intended to be a more standard styled version of the Caterham 7.

The original car was produced for the 1994 British Motor Show to celebrate 21 years of Caterham Cars manufacture of the Lotus Seven. Styled by Iain Robertson and developed by a team under Jez Coates, the aim was to have a car that offered "the chance to experience Caterham motoring in a more practical format". The 21 was offered with a range of 4-cylinder engines from 1.6 to 2.0 L, with 115 to 230 hp.[1] Caterham originally intended to produce 200 cars per year, but fewer than 50 were actually made before production ceased. Several variations were created to participate in racing events.

The 21 is essentially the same car as a Caterham 7, sharing almost all major parts. The chassis is stiffer than in a Caterham 7 due to the use of "toblerones" in the driver and passenger door sills and extra strengthening at the front of the car.

The current owners run a regular gathering at a sprint track in the UK, with over 16 cars attending each year out of 48 produced.


The GT editions of the 21 were successfully raced from 1999 to 2001, including the GT car run by GPS Racing winning its class in the Belcar 24hr race and resoundly beating the Lotus Elises in that class. Caterham used the GTO car to develop the Minister R500 engine. Caterham's final GTO car ended up with Great Lakes Caterham in Michigan, US and has now been fitted with the astonishingly powerful RST-V8 engine, now used in Caterham's top-of the line Levante model (supercharged to 500 bhp).

The Belgian car is still being raced in a series in continental Europe and may well be joined by a new race car running a Duratec engine early in 2009.

Series 2[edit]

A single series 2 prototype was created by Caterham, with a view to fitting a "standard" superstructure from an MGF and having enough space for a larger power plant, moving the car into the territory occupied at the time by manufacturers such as TVR. Unlike the original, it received a luke-warm reception and wasn't put into production.

Engine variants[edit]

The 48 cars made are now fitted with a range of engines, including some not offered at the point the car was originally released;


*Rover K-Series 1.6;
*Rover K-Series 1.6 SuperSport;
*Rover K-Series 1.8;
*Rover K-Series 1.8 SuperSport;
*Rover K-Series 1.8 VVC;
*Rover K-Series 1.8 VVC-160;
*Rover K-Series 1.8 VHPD;
*Vauxhall 2.0l;
*Ford Duratec 2.3 RST-V8;


Gearbox variants[edit]

The standard cars were equipped with either Caterham's 5-speed (Ford) gearbox, or their sportier 6-speed.


External links[edit]