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Caterham 7

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Caterham 7
Caterham 7 Roadsport 175
ManufacturerCaterham Cars
Body and chassis
ClassSports car
Body styleOpen two seat
LayoutLongitudinal front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission5-speed manual
6-speed manual
6-speed sequential manual
Kerb weight545 kg (1,202 lb)
PredecessorLotus Seven
SuccessorCaterham 7 CSR (for Caterham 7 SV)

The Caterham 7 (or Caterham Seven) is a super-lightweight sports car produced by Caterham Cars in the United Kingdom. It is based on the Lotus Seven, a lightweight sports car sold in kit and factory-built form by Lotus Cars, from 1957 to 1972.

After Lotus ended production of the Lotus Seven, Caterham bought the rights to the design, and today make both kits and fully assembled cars.[1] The modern Caterham Seven is based on the Series 3 Lotus Seven, though developed to the point that no part is the same as on the original Lotus.

Various other manufacturers offer a sports car in a similar basic configuration, but Caterham owns various legal rights to the Lotus Seven design and name. The company has taken legal action in the past in order to protect those rights, although in South Africa, it lost its case against Birkin on the basis that it never obtained the claimed rights from Lotus.[2]


Colin Chapman had been a Royal Air Force pilot, studied structural engineering, and went on to become one of the great innovators in motorsports design and found Lotus Engineering Ltd. His vision of light, powerful cars and performance suspensions guided much of his development work with the basic design philosophy of, "Simplify, then add lightness".[3] His Lotus 7 had its debut at the 1957 Earl's Court Motor Show in London. They were priced at £1,036 including purchase tax but it cost only £536 in kit form as no purchase tax was required. It weighed only 725 lb (329 kg). Fast and responsive, the Lotus 7 was one of Chapman's masterworks, an advanced machine that surpassed the earlier Lotus 6 as a vehicle that could perform well on the track and be driven legally on the road.

In 1973, Lotus decided to shed its kit car image and concentrate on limited series motor racing cars and up-market sports cars. As part of this plan, it sold the rights to the Seven to its only remaining agents, Caterham Cars in England and Steel Brothers Limited in New Zealand. At the time the current production car was the Series 4, but when Caterham ran out of the Lotus Series 4 kits in 1974 they introduced its own version of the Series 3, as the Caterham Seven. The modern-day Road sports and Superlights (in "narrow-bodied chassis" form) are the direct descendants of this car and therefore of the original Lotus 7.

Chassis and suspension[edit]

As with the Lotus Mark VI before it, the original Lotus Seven used an extremely light space-frame chassis with stressed aluminium body panels. Although the chassis has had numerous modifications to strengthen it and accommodate the various engine and suspension setups (and to try to find more cockpit space for the occupants), this basic formula has remained essentially the same throughout the Seven's life (with the exception of the Series 4, which used steel for the cockpit and engine bay and glassfibre for the bodywork). Early cars used a live rear axle, initially from various Fords, later from the Morris Ital. De Dion rear suspension was introduced in the mid-1980s and both geometries were on offer until 2002 when the live-axle option was phased out (though later reintroduced for the 160/165 and 170/Super Seven 600 versions). Late 90s and early 2000s versions (such as the Superlight) employed adjustable double-wishbone suspension with front anti-roll bar and a de-Dion rear axle, located by an A-frame and Watt's linkage.

The Caterham 7 range was based exclusively on this Series 3 chassis until 2000, when the SV (Series V, or Special Vehicle) chassis was released, aimed at accommodating the increasing number of prospective buyers who could not fit comfortably in the Series 3 cockpit. The SV chassis offers an extra 110 mm (4.3 in) of width across the cockpit, at a cost of 25 kg (55 lb) of extra weight, and both chassis sizes are available today in earlier Superlight and current 360, 420, 620 and Super Seven 2000 configurations, though only the S3 chassis is offered on the 170 and Super Seven 600. The SV chassis subsequently provided the basic dimensions for the Caterham CSR. The suspension was completely redesigned, bringing the front suspension inboard, using pushrods, and replacing the De-Dion rear axle with a lighter, fully independent, double-wishbone layout with new coil/damper units. Additional chassis modifications resulted in a 25% increase in torsional stiffness.[4] The CSR was released in October 2004, with a Cosworth Duratec engine and was available from the factory in either 200 bhp (150 kW) or 260 bhp (194 kW) form.


Early cars used the Lotus TwinCam engine (subsequently manufactured by Vegantune), followed by Ford crossflow engines.[5] The first Cosworth BDR engines appeared around 1983, in 1600 cc 140 bhp (104 kW) form, followed by 1700 cc 150 bhp (112 kW) versions three years later. By 1990 the top of the range engine had become the two-litre Vauxhall HPC, as fitted to the Vauxhall Calibra, putting out 165–175 bhp. A few HPC "Evolution" models were built with engines developed by Swindon Race Engines producing between 218 bhp (163 kW) and 235 bhp (175 kW). In 1993 Caterham created the JPE special edition (named for Formula 1 driver Jonathan Palmer) by using a two-litre Vauxhall Touring Car engine, putting out around 250 bhp (186 kW) and reducing weight to around 530 kg (1,168 lb) by such measures as removing the windscreen in favour of an aeroscreen. The JPE was quoted at 0–60 mph times of around 3.5 seconds and, with Jonathan Palmer at the wheel, set a 0–100 mph-0 record of 12.6 seconds. Around 1997 the cross flow range was replaced by 8v and 16v Vauxhall units which, in various guises lived on until the end of the VX-powered Caterham Classic, in 2002.

The Rover K-series made its appearance in 1991, initially as the 1.4-litre engine from the Metro GTi. This engine became the backbone of the range for the next 15 years. The 1.6-litre K-series appeared in 1996 and the 1.8-litre a year later. 1996 also saw the addition of the 'Superlight' range, a range that successfully focussed initially on reducing weight and subsequently on the bespoke tuning of the K-series to ever-higher outputs. Weight was saved by removing the spare wheel (and carrier), carpets, heater, and often the windscreen (replaced with an aeroscreen), hood, and doors. Lightweight "Tillet" GRP seats were usually fitted along with carbon-fibre front wings and nosecone (note however that items such as heaters and windscreens could still be specified by the Superlight customer if they so wanted). The wide-track suspension was added to the superlight, increasing the track at the front to match that at the back. The later Superlight-R offered the dry-sumped VHPD (Very High-Performance Derivative) variant on the 1.8-litre K-series. Output was now up to around 180 bhp (134 kW), in a car that now weighed as little as 490 kg (1,080 lb). Three years later Caterham took the same concept to a new level and created the iconic Superlight R500, still based on the Rover 1.8-litre K-series but now tuned (by Minister Racing Engines) to around 230 bhp (172 kW) at 8,600 rpm in a car weighing just 460 kg (1,014 lb). The R500 was initially available in kit-form but quickly became a factory-build only item. Quoted performance figures still make impressive reading; 0–100 mph in 8.2 seconds (although EVO magazine quotes 8.8 seconds[6]). Perhaps unsurprisingly, such a stressed engine required frequent "refreshing" in order to keep it on the road and a series of engine revisions were undertaken throughout the R500's life in order to increase reliability. This culminated in 2004 with perhaps the most extreme production Caterham of all; the R500 EVO was bored out by Minister to 1,998 cc and delivered 250 bhp (186 kW). At £42,000, the R500 EVO sold poorly; it is believed that just three were sold. It did, however, succeed in setting a series of performance car benchmarks several of which last to this day; the 0–100 mph-0 record was set at 10.73 seconds (in second place was a Ferrari Enzo costing ten times as much) and, until the end of 2006 it remained the fastest production car timed by EVO magazine around the Bedford Autodrome West Circuit, ahead of a Porsche Carrera GT. Only the Radical SR3 1300 has subsequently posted a faster time than the R500 EVO.[6]

After the demise of Rover and Powertrain, Caterham started the process of phasing out the Rover K-series engine and replacing them with Ford engines; the Sigma engine for Road sports and later 270 and 310 models, and the 2.0-litre and 2.3-litre Duratec engines for the more powerful Superlight, CSR, 360, 420, 620 and Super Seven 2000 ranges.

Caterham has had a somewhat tentative relationship with the installation of motorbike engines into their cars. Since 2000, a Canadian firm has been selling Caterham 7 models using the GSXR1300 engine used in the Suzuki Hayabusa. It reportedly does 0–62 in under 3 seconds. In 2000 the Honda CBR1100 engine was installed into a 430 kg (948 lb) superlight chassis to create the Caterham Blackbird, delivering 170 bhp (127 kW) at 10,750 rpm (although just 92 lb⋅ft (125 N⋅m) of maximum torque). The Blackbird offered near R500 performance for rather less money (Top Gear quote 0–60 of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 143 mph (230 km/h) at a new cost of £25,750).[7] In 2001 a Honda Fireblade engine was offered in a live-axle chassis, via James Whiting of Ashford, Middlesex. Quoted power was 128 bhp (95 kW) at 10,500 rpm. Both of these models have ceased production. There has also been at least one installation of the RST-V8, created by Moto Power; a 2-litre, 40 valve 340 bhp (254 kW) V8 made from a pair of motorcycle engines joined at the crank. An early, pre-production review of the car/engine combination exists on the EVO website.[8] In Feb 2008, the "Caterham 7 Levante" was announced, featuring a supercharged version the RST-V8, offering over 500 bhp (370 kW), installed in a modified Caterham chassis, with bespoke bodywork. Made by RS Performance (described in the press release as "Caterham's new performance arm"), the Levante is intended to be a limited run of 8 cars at a cost of £115,000 each.[9]

In 2013 the 620R had installed a Ford Duratec direct injection 2.0-litre (1,999 cc) supercharged straight-four engine rated at 315 PS (311 bhp; 232 kW) at 7700 rpm and 297 N⋅m (219 lb⋅ft) at 7350 rpm of torque.[10]

Suzuki-engined models[edit]

Seven 600 at Goodwood in 2023.

In 2013, Caterham also launched the 160/165 at the opposite end of the spectrum. This used a Suzuki 660 cc three-cylinder turbo K6A engine, producing 80 hp (60 kW), with a live rear axle and S3-style body work only. The model was only available in S (road) specification and continued until 2018.

The 160 was replaced in 2021 by the 170, available in both R (track) and S (road) specifications. The 170 uses a newer Suzuki 660 cc three cylinder turbo R06A engine, producing 84 hp (63 kW), and features narrower front and rear bodywork resulting in the smallest Seven Caterham have produced, and the lightest of the current range, weighing in at 440 kg (970 lb) in R specification. Again, this variant was only available in the S3 body. In 2022 a further variant, the Super Seven 600, was added. This features the same engine and chassis, but with more traditional clamshell front wings and a variety of other heritage styling changes.


Caterham 7 on track at Spa-Francorchamps

The Lotus 7 was conceived by Chapman as a car to be raced. Whilst still a prototype, in September 1957, it was raced at the Brighton Speed Trials[11] and by the end of 1958 Graham Hill was winning races with the Coventry Climax-engined 'Super Seven'.[12] The car has had a strong racing history throughout its life under both Lotus and Caterham stewardship. Amongst the marque's more famous races was the victory in the Nelson Ledges 24-hour race in Ohio when, against a field including works teams from Honda and Mazda, a four-man team from Caterham (including both Jez Coates and Robert Nearn) won by seven laps (after 990 laps) in a modified Vauxhall HPC.

After dominating open class races for decades, Caterham Super 7 Racing, a one-make championship for Caterhams, began in 1986.[13] Caterham 7 races have since expanded to include club and competitive races in the United Kingdom, continental Europe, Canada, the United States and Asia. In 1995 the Caterham Academy, a novices-only format, was introduced in the UK. For £17,995 (2009 price), entrants get a modified Roadsport kit (although a factory-built option is available for extra cost) with a sealed 120 bhp (89 kW) engine and 5-speed gearbox. Having completed the ARDS license qualification, the season then consists of four sprints followed by four circuit races. The Academy is designed as the first step in a well-established chain of Caterham race formats, such as the Caterham Motorsport Ladder[14] which consists of Road sports B then Road sports A, R300, Superlight and Eurocup, or the Caterham Graduates Racing Club.[15]

The car was banned from production car racing in the UK in 1976 for being too successful.[16] This prompted Caterham Cars' boss Graham Nearn to produce T-shirts which read "Caterham Seven, the car that's Too Fast to Race ...". More significantly, Nearn also reached out to his local MP, Sir Geoffrey Howe, arguing that it was unreasonable to ban a British product from a British championship. The RAC lifted the ban in 1980, but initially only allowed Caterhams to be raced under rather severe restrictions, requiring a full windshield be fitted and limiting the engine to the 84 hp (63 kW) Crossflow unit. were later lifted. In 2002 an R400 won its class (and came 11th overall out of 200 starters) at the Nürburgring 24-hour race by 10 laps, ahead of the competition that included Porsche and BMW racecars, leading, once again, to a ban on entry in subsequent years.[17]

Current range[edit]

2017 Caterham Seven 355S (Portugal)

The existing range provided by Caterham Cars comprises a choice of two chassis types (the traditional narrow-bodied 'Series 3' chassis and a wider ‘Series 5’). All road going Caterham 7’s are powered by a 2.0 Ford Duratec engine except the 170, the Caterham academy cars are powered by a 1.6 Ford Sigma engine. All models are available either factory-built or as a self-build kit (620 factory built only).

Until mid-2013 the factory had offered options around the Rover K-series engine, including the entry-level "Classic" with a 1.4-litre, capable of 0–60 in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 110 mph (180 km/h). But with the cessation of the engine production and new EU emissions regulations, the end of the engine's production also removed the "Classic" from the company's model line-up. As of 2017, the company maintains two separate ranges for mainland Europe (Euro 6 compliant) and the United Kingdom, reflecting the different legislative systems.

As of 2015, the range was simplified and is now simply a number, reflecting the horsepower per tonne, with ‘S’ or ‘R’ packages for either street or track use. Most versions (not the 170) are available on the standard S3 or on the wider SV chassis. The European models end with the number "5" while the UK models end in a "0". The range consists of the Seven 165, 275, 355, and 485. The 170 model is powered by a 660cc Suzuki engine, while the more powerful variants have 2.0 Ford engines. The UK range for 2022 is 170, 360, 420, and 620.

160 / 165 / 170[edit]

The 170 is the current entry-level offering from Caterham. Prior to 2021, entry-level models were the 160 and 165: the 160 for the United Kingdom and the 165 intended for sale in the European Union. It is only available with the S3 chassis, doors, and windscreen as standard. There is a list of optional extras such as carpets, spare wheel, weather package and heater. It is powered by a turbocharged Suzuki 660 cc kei car K6A engine producing 84 horsepower. The price starts at £22,990 for a 170S in semi-kit form.[18] This model, with its skinnier tyres and Suzuki driveshafts, is compact enough to be classified as a Kei car in Japan, except for its power which is above the 64 PS limit enforced for that class (although it appeared on Best Motoring with yellow licence plates, which signifies a Kei car).[19] The car's gearbox and live rear axle is also supplied by Suzuki; this is the first Caterham with a live rear axle since the supply of Morris Marina rears dried up after the Seven Beaulieu ended production in 2003.[20] The car received a large amount of publicity for a low-powered entry-level model, with an appearance on Top Gear,[21] and Suzuki displaying it at the 2014 Frankfurt Motor Show. Production had to be adjusted upwards by 50 percent, with a third of the first year's production of 150 cars shipped to Japan.[20]


The 360 is now the second-level offering from Caterham. It is available in both S3 and SV chassis sizes and is sold in ‘kit’ form as standard. The 360 is available in both ‘S’ and ‘R’ trims for street and track respectively. The 360 has 180hp, produced from a 2.0 Ford Duratec engine. 0-60mph time is 4.8s going on to a top speed of 130mph. The Caterham 360 starts at £31,990 for the ‘S’ trim and an additional £1,000 for ‘R’ trim.


The Superlight is available in both S3 and SV chassis sizes. The list of standard equipment reflects the Superlight's bias to track work: Wide-track front suspension, 6-speed sequential manual gearbox, carbon-fibre dashboard and front wings, GRP aeroscreen, and seats, racing harness, removable steering wheel. Quoted weight for the Superlight is about 50 kg (110 lb) less than the Roadsport, due in part to the lack of a spare wheel and carrier. All Superlight cars use the 2-litre Ford Duratec engine in differing states of tune; the R400 with 210 bhp (160 kW) and R500 with 263 bhp (196 kW). Caterham used to manufacture an R300 using the same engine at 175 bhp, but this car has effectively now become the Supersport R. With the launch of the R500 (April 2008), Caterham made available the options of a sequential gearbox and launch control. Quoted performance for the R500 is 0–60 in 2.88 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph (240 km/h). In October 2012 a supercharged model 'R600' for a race-series above the R300-class was released, including slick tyres and a sequential gearbox.[22] The weight of the R600 was 1139 lbs or 517 kg.[23]

At the beginning of December 2008, Top Gear made the R500 its '2008 Car of the Year'.

Super 7[edit]

The Caterham Super 7 is the retro-inspired 1,600cc version of the Caterham 7. The Super 7 is powered by a 1.6 litre Ford Sigma petrol engine which makes use of twin throttle bodies to aid airflow. Caterham has designed the Super Seven to have long, flared wheel arches, dials provided by Smiths, and a wire mesh grille. Optional packages include a wooden Mota-Lita steering wheel to complete the look.


Seven EV electric prototype at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2023

Two Seven EV concepts were shown at Goodwood Festival of Speed in July 2023. These had electric engines from Swindon Powertrain E-axle and weighed 70 kg more due to the 40 kWh battery.[24]

Model history[edit]

50th Anniversary editions[edit]

Caterham celebrated the 50th year of Seven productions with a couple of special edition "50th Anniversary" paint options. In addition, as part of the 50th-anniversary celebrations in early June 2007, they showcased the X330 concept car. Based on the CSR, the X330 employs a supercharged version of the Duratec engine to produce 330 bhp (246 kW). The use of lighter-gauge steel and of carbon-fibre instead of GRP further improves the power-to-weight ratio. Caterham says that they have no plans to put this car into production.[25]


The CSR represents the top of the range and in some respects can be considered a separate model. It has its own chassis, suspension, and interior and is available with 2.3-litre (200 bhp or 260 bhp) Ford Cosworth Duratec engine. Quoted performance for the CSR260 is 0–60 in 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h). There is no home-build option; the factory supplies the finished car.

In 2006, Caterham introduced the CSR Superlight. Based on the CSR260, this model adds a 'Superlight' lightweight specification to the CSR, further extending the CSR260's already epic performance envelope. The 2.3-litre Cosworth-powered Caterham CSR260 Superlight brings all the performance credentials associated with its stablemate; performance is quoted as a 0–60 mph time of 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h). The Superlight swaps the windscreen, carpet, heater, and weather gear on the standard car for a limited-slip differential and a quicker steering rack. There is a 25-kilo weight reduction over the standard CSR260, this model variant also adds distinctive Superlight styling to the exterior, including a wind deflector, a carbon-fibre dashboard and wings, a black powder-coated cockpit, and a quick-release MOMO steering wheel. Of particular note are 'Dynamic Suspensions' Damper units developed by a specialist Multimatic for the car. The damper units lend the already capable CSR a further edge in terms of handling and cornering performance. It features the same 2.3-litre (260 bhp) engine as the CSR260, but weighs only 550 kg (1,213 lb) and has a power-to-weight ratio of 472 bhp (352 kW)-per-tonne.

Caterham has a number of models, such as the Roadsport, Supersport and Superlight, that are occasionally re-introduced with chassis upgrades or changes in the engine options.[26]


Since Caterham took over production from Lotus[26]
Model Years Production Image Engine Notes
7 Series 4 1973–1974 38 Ford Kent crossflow
Lotus-Ford Twin Cam
Carryover from Lotus production; ultimately discontinued due to manufacturing logistics issues
7 Series 3 Twin Cam 1974–1983 313 Lotus-Ford Twin Cam CS3 3557 at the request of the purchaser, a New Zealand gentleman racer, was supplied with a 1962 cc twin cam Alfa Romeo Engine
7 Series 3 1300GT 1975– 4 Ford Kent crossflow
7 Series 3 1600GT 1975–1992 338 Ford Kent crossflow This 84 hp (63 kW) unit was the only version allowed to partake in British production car racing in the 1980s
1600 Sprint 1980–1992 212 Ford Kent crossflow (Caterham tune)
VTA 1981–1985 41 Vegantune: 1598 cc Ford Cortina block, Vegantune designed twin cam head, with hemi-spherical combustion chambers
Silver Jubilee 1981–1983 8 Ford Kent crossflow (Caterham tune) Silver paint (excl. one BRG car) with coloured striping on bonnet and front wings
Avon A 1982–1983 2 Vegantune Lotus-Ford Twin Cam Hi-spec features such as re-trimmed two-tone interior and pepperpot alloy wheels
1700 Supersprint 1982– 440 Ford Kent 1.7L (Caterham tune)
1600 BDR 1983–1992 149 Cosworth BDR 1600
1700 BDR 1986–1999 269 Cosworth BDR 1700
HPC 1700 1986–1995 62 Cosworth BDR 1700 Purchase required taking performance driving course. Car was fitted with limited slip differential.
CVH 1986–1991 91 Ford CVH For Swiss export only
Prisoner 1989– 47 as of 2013 (Multiple available) Trim package to commemorate The Prisoner television series
HPC 1990–1993 Unknown Caterham-tuned Vauxhall VX with Twin 45 DCOE carburettors. 175BHP standard, Optional Swindon Racing Engine Upgrades to 218, 225 and 235 BHP Purchase included a performance driving course run by John Lyon of HPC Limited (mandatory for drivers under 25 before taking delivery). Genuine HPC cars are not determined by the presence of the letter H in the 7th VIN position.
Vauxhall 16v cars – Caterham Vauxhall and Caterham VXI 1993–1999 Unknown Powered by reconditioned Vauxhall XE 16v on Twin 45 Carburettors, or new Catalysted Vauxhall XE 16v on GM Injection Often confused with genuine HPC due to by the presence of the letter H in the 7th VIN position. Some of these cars are built on the later Post 1996 "handbrake on tunnel" chassis. Caterham mismarketed some of these cars in order to shift an excess stock of HPC's unique parts.
35th Anniversary 1992–1994 (Multiple available) Trim and equipment package to commemorate production of the 7. Lotus green/yellow paint. Genuine 35th Anniversary cars will have a dashboard plaque.
7 GTS 1992 ~40 Ford Kent crossflow Intended as a return to the basics of the 7, with live axle and four-speed gearbox
7 Classic 1992–1998 Ford Kent crossflow Even more minimal than the GTS, the Classic was intended as low-priced entry-level model.
1.4 K-Series 1991–1996 Rover K-Series
1.4 K-Series Supersport 1993–1997 Rover K-Series
Road-Sport 1996 30 Rover K-Series Built with special trim, weight-reducing components, and the Caterham six-speed gearbox
JPE 1992–2001 53 Vauxhall twin-cam tuned to 250bhp by Swindon Racing Engines Very minimal and lightweight and with engine suggested to be similar to that used in British Touring Car Championship. The engine is in fact just forged pistons and an uprated cylinder head with Weber Alpha Injection. Several JPEs were built as special customer orders using steel internals and rated at 280bhp, those these are very rare. In popular culture, this model plays a role as Sōichi Sugano's car in the anime series éX-Driver by Kōsuke Fujishima.
S7 Competition R 1995–2001 25 Turbocharged Vauxhall/Opel 2.0L For Swiss market
1.6 K-Series 1996–2012 Rover K-Series Introduced chassis modifications that improved rigidity and ride quality
40th Anniversary 1996–1998 67 Rover K-Series or Vauxhall 2.0L Special trim including two-tone red-and-silver paint scheme
Superlight 1.6 1996–2004 196 Rover K-Series Constructed with lightweight carbon fiber components
Superlight R 1997–2002 127 Rover K-Series Very High Performance Derivative (VHPD) Equipped with numerous racing-inspired features
Classic VX 1600 1997–2002 224 Vauxhall 1.6L 8v Inexpensive entry-level model with live rear axle
1.8 K-Series 1997–2006 Rover K-Series
1.8 K-Series VVC 1997–2006 Rover K-Series Employed engine with Rover's Variable Valve Control
Silverstone 1998–1999 3 Rover K-Series Aluminum bodywork
Classic VX Supersprint 1998–2002 9 Vauxhall 1800 (Caterham tune)
Clubsport 1998–1999 5 Rover K-Series Intended for motorsport (with roll-over protection and fire suppression features)
Superlight R500 1999–2005 125 Rover K-Series (Caterham tune)
Zetec 1998–2008 ~250 Ford Zetec Built for the United States market
Autosport 50th Anniversary 1999–2001 9 Rover K-Series Painted red with a gold band around the nose, this special edition was built to commemorate Autosport magazine's 50th year of publication
Blackbird 2000–2001 15 Honda Blackbird 1.1L
SV 2000– 1480 (as of December 2012) (Multiple available) First of the models with a wider and longer chassis for more interior space
GSX 1300R Hayabusa 2000– 14 (as of February 2013) Suzuki Hayabusa 1.3L For Canadian market. Built with sequential gearbox. Also available with Hayabusa 'R' Type engine, or with Rotrex supercharging
Fireblade 2001–2004 23 Honda Fireblade 919cc Sequential gearbox, world record : fastest car going backwards (101 mph), rear live-axle, handrake lever under dashboard
Beaulieu 2001–2003 51 Vauxhall 1.6L Entry-level model with live rear axle, rear drum brakes, and paint scheme to recall the Lotus 7
Superlight R300 2002–2006 ~125 MG XPower Rover K-Series 1.8L Intended as a less hard-core alternative to the Superlight R500
Superlight R400 XPower 2002–2005 68 MG XPower Rover K-Series 1.8L Rebranded Superlight R with engine and other modifications
Superlight R500 evolution 2004 4 Rover K-Series Superlight R500 with engine developed further by Minister Racing Engines and PTP (Powertrain Products)
1.4 K-Series Classic 2002–2012 Rover K-Series
SV30 2003–2004 4 Rover K-Series Built to commemorate the 30th year of the Caterham 7. All finished in Boston Green paint and fitted with 1.6L K-Series engine.
Tracksport 2003 2 MG XPower Rover K-Series Intended for track use, and, like the SV30, was built to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Caterham 7
RST-V8 2004–2008 4 Motopower RST-V8 Not an official Caterham offering; powered by the small-displacement V8 designed by Russell Savory and derived from Yamaha motorbike engines
CSR200 2005–2011 Cosworth-Ford Duratec Used a developed SV chassis, with increased rigidity and pushrod front suspension
CSR260 2005– Cosworth-Ford Duratec Similar specification as the CSR200, but with further engine development to produce 260 hp
CSR260 Superlight 2006–2011 Cosworth-Ford Duratec Lightened, minimalist version of the CSR260
Superlight 1.8 2005–2006 ~5 MG XPower Rover K-Series
Superlight R400 2.0 2006– 135 (as of December 2012) Caterham-Rover K-Series A relaunch of the Superlight R400 with Duratec (rather than K-Series) power
Roadsport Sigma 2006– 1260 (as of December 2012) Ford Sigma Marked the major transition from the Rover K-Series engine to the Ford Sigma/Duratec line
Axon 2R / Eco-M 2006– 2 Rover K-Series High-fuel-economy prototype developed by Axon Automotive
Superlight 120 / 150 2006– Ford Sigma First of the 'Superlight' cars to be fitted with Ford Sigma engines
X330 2007 1 Cosworth-Ford Duratec One-off built to celebrate Caterham's 50th anniversary. Fitted with Rotrex C30-94 supercharger.
50th Anniversary 2007 50 or fewer (Multiple available) Cosmetic changes only, including two-tone exterior colour schemes and a numbered plaque on the dashboard
RS Levante 2008 9 Motopower RST-V8 Available in either 400 hp normally-aspirated or 550 hp supercharged form
CDX 2008–2011 13 Rover K-Series Replica of the "Caterham Driving Experience" track-day cars
Superlight R300 2008– 45 (in UK market) Caterham Powertrain Duratec
Superlight R500 2008–2014 175 Caterham Powertrain Duratec
Roadsport 175 2008– Caterham Powertrain Duratec
CSR175 2009– 75 (as of December 2012) Caterham Powertrain Duratec Lower cost export model for Europe and Japan
Lambretta 2010 1 Ford Sigma Trimmed and painted in Union Jack colours, in partnership with Lambretta Clothing and Oxted Trimming
Roadsport 125 Monaco 2010–2011 25 Ford Sigma Cosmetic package for the Roadsport, inspired by the Flag of Monaco
Team Lotus 2011– 37 (as of December 2012) (Multiple available) Lotus green-and-yellow colour scheme
Supersport 2011– Caterham-Ford Sigma
Supersport R 2012– Caterham Powertrain Duratec
Model Years Production Image Engine Notes

Caterham 7 literature[edit]

The Caterham 7 has spawned many books, test reports, and articles, many of which are still in print.

  • Lotus & Caterham Sevens Gold Portfolio, 1957–1989 Edited by R.M. Clarke, Brooklands Books, 1989, test reports and articles from magazines around the world ISBN 1-85520-000-7.
  • Lotus & Caterham Seven Gold Portfolio, 1974–95 Edited by R.M. Clarke, Brooklands Books, 1996, test reports and articles from magazines around the world ISBN 978-1-85520-330-3.
  • The Legend of the Lotus Seven Dennis Ortenberger, Osprey, 1981, reissued in 1999 by Mercian manuals ISBN 0-85045-411-5.
  • The Lotus and Caterham Sevens, A Collector’s Guide Jeremy Coulter, Motor Racing Publications Ltd., 1986, ISBN 0-947981-06-3.
  • Lotus Seven: Restoration, Preparation, Maintenance Tony Weale, Osprey Automotive, 1991, includes Caterham Sevens up to 1990 ISBN 1-85532-153-X.
  • Caterham Sevens: The Official Story of a Unique British Sportscar Chris Rees, Motorbooks International, 1997, ISBN 978-0-947981-97-6.
  • Side Glances, Volumes 1, 2, 3. A fourth volume is entitled Side Glances: The Best from America's Most Popular Automotive Writer, Peter Egan, Brooklands Books, and Road & Track. Peter Egan's books are collections of his Road & Track column "Side Glances". Many feature his Lotus Sevens but there is also information on Caterham Sevens.
  • Lotus and Caterham Seven: Racers for the Road, John Tipler, Crowood Press, 2005, ISBN 978-1-86126-754-2.
  • The Magnificent 7: The enthusiasts' guide to all models of Lotus and Caterham Seven, Chris Rees, Haynes Publishing, Second edition 2007, ISBN 978-1-84425-410-1.
  • Why build a Seven? Putting a Sportscar on the Road, a personal record, Michael Eddenden, 2010, self-published via lulu.com, the building of a Caterham 7 from a Club perspective, it includes much on Lotus and Caterham Seven owners ISBN 978-0-557-54398-4.
  • Roadster: How, and Especially Why, a Mechanical Novice Built a Car from a Kit Chris Goodrich, Harper, 1998, a "mechanical novice" builds a Super 7 and explores its history ISBN 978-0060191931.


  1. ^ "SEVEN 160". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Caterham Car Sales and Coachworks Ltd. v Birkin Cars (Pty) Ltd. and Another (393/95) [1998] ZASCA 44; 1998 (3) SA 938 (SCA); [1998] 3 All SA 175 (A) (27 May 1998)". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  3. ^ "About Us>Philosophy". Group Lotus PLC. Archived from the original on 30 July 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Caterham Sevens, from conception to CSR", by Chris Rees
  5. ^ This paragraph largely draws from Chris Rees' book "Caterham Sevens from conception to CSR", published by MRP, ISBN 1-899870-61-X,
  6. ^ a b EVO Magazine, Issue 100, January 2007. Published by Dennis Publishing Limited
  7. ^ "Caterham Super 7 expert car review verdict – BBC Top Gear". Topgear.com. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Caterham: Car Reviews". evo. 1 September 2004. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  9. ^ "RS Performance". RS Performance. Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  10. ^ "2013 Caterham Seven 620R". carfolio.com. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  11. ^ Caterham Sevens, from conception to CSR by Chris Rees
  12. ^ The Lotus Book, by William Taylor, Published by Coterie Press. ISBN 1-902351-13-4
  13. ^ Henry, Alan (10 November 2009). "Graham Nearn obituary". Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  14. ^ "All the links you need". Caterham.co.uk.com. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Caterham Graduates Racing Club". Graduates.org.uk. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  16. ^ Calvert, Michael (January 2012). "Exclusively Sevens" (PDF). Lowflying. p. 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 March 2023.
  17. ^ "24h Rennen Tickets und Mehr – 40. ADAC Zurich 24h-Rennen". Adac.24h-rennen.de. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  18. ^ "Seven 170 | Caterham Cars". www.caterhamcars.com. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  19. ^ Walton, Mark (24 January 2014). "Caterham Seven 160 (2014) review". CAR. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  20. ^ a b Whitworth, Ben (25 September 2015). "Caterham Seven 160 (2015) long-term test review". CAR. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  21. ^ Series 21, episode 4
  22. ^ archive.org: caterham.co.uk: Caterham launches premier Superlight R600 series, 4 October 2012
  23. ^ "Caterham Superlight R600 – Infinite-Garage".
  24. ^ Electric Caterham EV Seven, press release from Goodwood on 24 May 2023.
  25. ^ "Caterham's birthday concept". Autocar.co.uk. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  26. ^ a b Rees, Chris (August 2013). The Magnificent 7. Haynes Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85733-391-9.>

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