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Caterham Seven Supersport (2011) first official pictures

Mon, 11 Apr 2011

This is the new Caterham Seven Supersport, a new roadster that offers track-biased fun for less than £20k. The Seven shape is familiar, but Caterham has pinched parts from its Supersport race series cars (which sit above the Academy and Roadsport classes, but below the Superlight and forthcoming SP/300R) to create this new Supersport model. 

Is the new Caterham Seven Supersport road car exactly the same as the race car?

Not quite, but the pair are similar. Like the racer, the new Supersport road car has a tiny aero screen rather than a windscreen, a five-speed ‘sprint’ gearbox, and Avon CR500 tyres wrapped around 13in wheels. The track car also donates its stiffer anti-roll bars, race-focused dashboard complete with shift lights, composite buckets and four-point belts. We’re told it’ll be more circuit-biased than the Superlight range, but still not brutish on public roads – Caterham claims its cars can be more softly sprung than the opposition thanks to their low weight.

But while the racecar has an open differential, the new Supersport for the road has a limited slip diff, plus headlights to make it legal. It also has more power, the 1.6-litre Ford engine tweaked by Caterham Motorsport to increase the output from 125bhp to 140bhp.

To keep the costs below £20k (a Supersport in kit form is £19,995, or £22,995 fully built from the factory) this new Caterham does without the carbonfibre bits of the Superlight – or the R500’s posh dash. But it still weighs just 520kg so 0-62mph takes a paltry 4.9 seconds and top speed is a claimed 120mph-plus.

'The Supersport is all about our roots,' said Caterham Cars engineering director Mark Edwards. 'The Seven was born out of motorsport and this new model illustrates the values – accessibility, affordability and unadulterated fun – that have made Caterham the iconic brand it is today. We’ve built faster and more powerful accelerating cars before, but the Supersport’s character, value and low running costs have generated a machine that will excite sports car fans, including those on a budget.'

By Ben Pulman