A new entry-level, ready-built Caterham Seven sports car will be launched this autumn with first deliveries of the £17,000 model expected before the end of 2014.
The new Caterham Seven boats a five-speed Suzuki gearbox, adapted by Caterham's sister firm Caterham Teechnology and Innovation. The model also features a lightweight 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine sourced from Suzuki. It's the same engine used in the Japanese-market Suzuki Jimny, and will be the smallest and most efficient engine ever fitted to a Caterham.
This back-to-basics approach means the new Seven is set to become the lightest model ever produced by Caterham, weighing less than the 550kg Caterham Seven Roadsport, which starts from £19,995.
Caterham Cars CEO, Graham Macdonald, said: "Suzuki is a leader in producing compact vehicles with extremely efficient engines and that is clearly a shared passion. We needed a particularly light powertrain but it had to be a unit that suited the characteristics inherent to all Sevens – thankfully, after lots of hard work, we have a package that works brilliantly.
“Our intention for this car is to offer the joy of the Seven in distilled form, so the new entry-level car is lighter, cheaper, more economical and more accessible than ever."
While Caterham does already have a £14,495 Classic model, it uses old technology and the Caterham Seven kit needs to be assembled by the customer.