We’re used to Simon Cowell telling us what music to listen to, and sadly the charts suggest that many people pay attention. But when it comes to his choice of wheels, he has better taste – and, possibly, some influence.
Last year, he had a Caterham R400 shipped to his US home and, in January this year, the Caterham Seven officially went on sale in the States. Could his enthusiastic tweeting about the Seven have given it the kickstart it needed in the American market?
Now Caterham has homologated two new models – the Seven 480 and 360 – specifically for the American market. The 360 is a derivative of the UK’s Supersport R, which required substantial re-engineering for left-hand drive. The 480’s closest relation is the 485, which is a mainland Europe model (and was, obviously, already lhd!).
Both are powered by the familiar 2.0-litre Ford Duratec engine, with the 237bhp 480 having a 0-60mph time of 3.4sec and a top speed of 140mph. The 180bhp 360 has a 0-60mph time of 4.9sec and a 130mph top speed. They’re priced at $52,900 and $44,900 respectively.
Caterham’s US distributor is kit car manufacturer Superformance, which has a nationwide dealer network. Sevens are supplied in rolling chassis form for home completion.