Even as an entry model into the Caterham experience, demand for more power has led the company to push the performance envelope of the Seven 160, especially when the vehicle is all about driving purity.
Caterham has just introduced the Seven 170 with an increase in engine output and more kit for track day junkies in the R pack. The turbocharged 660 cc three-cylinder powertrain from Suzuki that also serves the Jimny at its home market of Japan has now been massaged to deliver 86 hp / 116 Nm, up from the 80 hp / 107 Nm in the 160.
The ultra-lightweight Caterham Seven continues to weigh approximately 500 kg thanks to body panels made of composite over a tubular steel frame chassis, pushing the power-to-weight ratio per tonne to 170 hp/tonne, thus the name ‘170’. Built with specific optional equipment and components from Caterham, the Seven 170 can weigh as little as 440 kg, equating to a power-to-weight ratio of over 190 hp/tonne.
The benchmark sprint time from standstill to 100 km/h continues to be 6.9 seconds, but expect better in-gear acceleration thanks to the higher torque. Standard equipment in the regular Seven 170 S include 14-inch wheels with specific Avon ZT7 tyres, comfort-oriented suspension, LED tail lamps and indicators, bright chrome finishing, leather seats and a Momo steering wheel plus an open rear differential.
The track-engineered R Pack that cost just GBP1,000 (approx. RM5.7k) extra meanwhile ditches the glass windscreen and replaces it with two carbon fibre wind deflectors, black highlights, composite race seats with 4-point harnesses, sports suspension pack with a limited-slip rear differential and a lightweight flywheel.
The Caterham Seven 170 starts from GBP22,990 (approx. RM132k) as a kit car, with the vehicle unassembled, for perhaps a winter project based in your own garage. A fully built-up Seven 170 adds GBP2,395 to the price and includes all the necessary documentation.