Caterham Seven 

  • $44k built in England
  • 2006
  • 210 HP 2.0L
  • 140 mph
Manic and yet controllable, the pure anger of the engine harnessed by a chassis so playful that you’d actively provoke lurid slides just for fun.
by EVO
If the CSR had had a smoother engine, we might have enjoyed it more, but unless you're after those last few seconds on a racetrack, it's hard to justify the CSR260's higher price.
by Car and Driver (May, 2006)

Road Tests Real world tests of the Caterham Seven

0-60mph

Seven Superlight R400
3.8 s
Lotus 7
14.3 s
Atom V8 500
2.3 s

Top speed

Seven Superlight R400
140 mph
Lotus 7
85 mph
Atom V8 500
170 mph

0-100mph

Seven Superlight R400
11 s
Atom V8 500
5.4 s
BAC Mono
6.7 s

Top Gear track time

Seven Superlight R400
1:25.0
BAC Mono
1:14.30
Atom V8 500
1:15.10

1/4 mile

Seven Superlight R400
12.7 s
Lotus 7
19.2 s
Atom V8 500
11.2 s

Data points Key details of the Caterham Seven

Price

Seven Superlight R400
$44k
Atom V8 500
$225k
BAC Mono
$122k

Horsepower

Seven Superlight R400
210 HP
Atom V8 500
475 HP
D8 GTO
400 HP

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the car

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Performance

The Caterham had an improperly set rev limiter that cut fuel at 7700 rpm, 300 rpm short of the redline and 2 mph short of 60 mph.
by Car and Driver (May, 2006)
You hardly seem to use the brakes either, because the combination of poor aerodynamics and high speeds means you can easily alter the car’s pace with just the throttle.
by EVO
It’s a bit of a gimmick obviously, but it’s bloody good fun and Caterham claims this £350 option will help the R500 leap to 60mph in 2.88sec.
by EVO

Powertrain

The R500 should be a crazy engine cradled in a lightweight, perfectly balanced chassis.
by EVO
It's cool having a Cosworth engine and all, but it makes the CSR260 expensive.
by Car and Driver (May, 2006)
While driving around in the CSR260, we kept thinking we'd had more fun in the less-extreme, $38,345 (that price includes the engine and transmission).
by Car and Driver (May, 2006)

Engine

The vibration travels right to the cockpit, and it's severe enough that there's not much joy in winding out the engine.
by Car and Driver (May, 2006)
But as Glencoe opens up ahead of me, trees melting away from the road’s edge, dry-stone walls no longer hemming me in, I can relax and enjoy the view, enjoy that sensation of heading into the elements in this tiny missile, engine gargling cold air and super-unleaded.
by EVO
The K-series engine is gone, replaced by a 2-litre four-cylinder Ford Duratec unit rated at a mighty 263bhp.
by EVO

Handling

And whereas previous versions used either a solid axle or a de Dion setup, the CSR has an independent suspension.
by Car and Driver (May, 2006)
But on the road, the CSR doesn't offer more of what's always attracted us to Caterhams — the agility and immediacy that serve to remind us why we love driving in the first place.
by Car and Driver (May, 2006)
The front unequal-length control-arm suspension now uses pushrod-actuated shocks that are mounted inside the narrow bodywork.
by Car and Driver (May, 2006)

Transmission

Bigger news – as if it’s needed – is that for the first time Caterham will be offering a sequential six-speed dog ’box on the options list.
by EVO
You also have to build the car yourself since the Caterham does not meet U.S. emissions or crash standards, and that's why — in the U.S. — it's only available in kit form.
by Car and Driver (May, 2006)
Full-bore upshifts can be executed without the clutch and with barely a lift of your right foot.
by EVO

Specifications Full list of technical specs

general

Brand Caterham
Price $44,362
Type of car Production car
Year 2006
Highway mileage 15 MPG

power & handling

Power-to-weight ratio 5.95 lb/hp
Maximum hp 210 HP @ 7,600 RPM
Maximum torque 150 ft-lb @ 6,300 RPM
Steering system Rack and pinion

engine

Displacement 1,994 cc
Air compressor None
Fuels Gas
Valvetrain DOHC
Valves per cylinder 4 valves

physical dimensions

Curb weight 1,250 lb
Width 62 in
Height 37.8 in
Length 122 in
Wheelbase 87.6 in

road tests

Top speed 140 mph
1/4 mile 12.7 s
0-60mph 3.8 s
0-100mph 11 s
Top gear time 1:25.0

transmission

Drivetrain RWD w/LSD
Gearing Traditional
# of gears 6 gears
Gear ratios
  1. 1: 2.69:1
  2. 2: 2.01:1
  3. 3: 1.59:1
  4. 4: 1.32:1
  5. 5: 1.13:1
  6. 6: 1:1
Axle ratio 3.62:1

suspension, wheels & brakes

Front brakes Disc
Rear brakes Disc
Front wheels 381/? 165
Rear wheels 381/? 165
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