Caterham Cars has stirred the Super Seven pot and served up two new “heritage” variations on an old but much-loved recipe, ahead of the company’s 50th anniversary selling the classic clubman.
New? Well, the Super Seven 600 and Super Seven 2000 should perhaps be described as newish. The promise from Caterham chief executive Bob Laishley is of a “reimagining” but, probably to purists’ relief, this is more of the same, two cars unashamedly inspired by Caterham’s models from the ‘70s and ‘80s. Yes, we thought they were all like that as well…
But don’t they look good? The long flowing front guards, a step up from the simple cycle guards of the entry 170 model, add class as do some exclusive new paint finishes and touches of chrome.
Both 600 and 2000 look the same but are different underneath. The 2000 gets Ford’s 2.0-litre Duratec engine with 180PS (134kW) sent to an independent de Dion back axle, with sports suspension and limited-slip diff optional. Getting from 0-60 takes 4.8 seconds, top speed is 130mph and for the taller driver you can get a long-chassis version. The Super Seven 2000 costs from £39,990 in the UK (in component form) – and importantly for Caterham will be available in the US market.
The 600 costs £10k less and picks up the mechanical spec of the company’s 170 entry model. So there’s a 660cc Suzuki turbo engine which produces 84PS (63kW) for its live rear axle to handle. Top speed is 105mph and 0-60 6.9 seconds; Caterham describes the 600 as “a car for those who want to enjoy a leisurely Sunday drive with the wind in their hair”.
Modern touches? In either model LED rear lights is about your lot. But then as Caterham says, the aim is “an accessible, pure, simple, driving experience” and that gets our vote.
Both the 2000 at £40k and 600 at £30k are for the cars in kit form for self-builders. Start now and you should be in plenty of time to hit the road next year – the 50th since Caterham first took over building the archetypal two-seater sports from Lotus.
CEO Bob Laishley tells us: “With Caterham Cars celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, now feels right to be adding cars to our range that take inspiration from our past.” Caterham must be hoping that heritage never gets out of date…