Starting from £22,990, the Seven 170 weighs in at just 440kg, making it the lightest Caterham on sale
Caterham is famed for producing featherweight, raw driving machines, and the British marque has now unveiled its lightest production Seven yet: the Seven 170. Priced from £22,990 in kit form, the new model serves as an accessible entry point into Caterham ownership, and the most approachable in performance terms.
The Seven 170 weighs just 440kg, making it over 25% lighter than an Ariel Atom 4. The Caterham has a fraction of the firepower of an Atom, however, with its 660cc turbocharged Suzuki engine producing 84bhp and 116Nm of torque. The exceptionally low kerb-weight means that the power-to-weight ratio is a healthy 191bhp/tonne.
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Given the modest outputs, the Seven 170 uses a set of skinny 155-section tyres to put power to the road, and a live rear axle suspension setup, which isn’t quite as sophisticated as the De Dion arrangement of more expensive Caterhams. The new model can hit 62mph from rest in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of over 100mph. The Seven 170 is also compliant with ULEZ and Euro 6 emission standards, with a CO2 figure of 109g/km.
Buyers can choose from either the more road-biased Seven 170S, or the 170R, which brings performance-oriented mechanical and cosmetic upgrades. Both models are fitted with a 5-speed gearbox and a Momo steering wheel, and the 170S gets silver 14-inch Juno wheels, a windscreen, full weather gear and leather seats.
The hardcore 170S gets a more focussed suspension setup, black Juno wheels, composite race seats and a four-point harness. A limited-slip differential is also fitted to aid traction, along with a carbon fibre dashboard. All Seven 170s get LED tail lights and a new racing stripe design, and the car is available in four different paint colours.
The Seven 170 can be ordered as a self-build kit for £22,990, or as a road-ready package – though Caterham hasn’t specified the price premium for a factory build. Buyers can also opt for a finance package; it consists of a cash deposit of £6,312 and monthly payments of £199.
Check out our verdict on another lightweight British sportscar, the Morgan Plus Four…
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