Caterham Seven SV 1.0 EcoBoost

The Caterham Seven SV gets the new hi-tech engine from the Ford Focus

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Ford's excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine has already wowed us in the new B-MAX and Fiesta, and it shows yet more versatility here. The little three-cylinder punches hard in the lightweight Caterham, mixing strong acceleration with a great soundtrack. And there’s more power to come, so expect the engine to grace a high-performance Ford very soon.

In an effort to show the sporting potential of its award-winning three-cylinder turbocharged engine, Ford has fitted it to a Caterham Seven SV.

This is the same engine that’s available in the Fiesta and new B-MAX, so it comes with 118bhp and 200Nm of torque, although Ford claims the power could be increased.

This version of the Caterham is normally fitted with a 1.6-litre engine and, although it may appear as if you’re losing out with the 1.0-litre, the power is exactly the same. In fact, the smaller engine delivers 55Nm more torque.

The car hasn’t been fully tested yet, so there are no official 0-60mph times, but with the 1.6-litre Seven completing the sprint in 6.2 seconds, a time of six seconds flat is likely. From the driver’s seat, this car is every bit as fast as the standard SV.

The free-revving nature of the EcoBoost engine fits well in the lightweight chassis – total weight is just 588kg – so the added torque translates into a substantial shove in the back. There’s an addictive three-cylinder warble, although it’s hard to hear with a helmet on and the wind rushing past.

As with all Caterhams, this is a proper back-to-basics machine, and masses of fun. The tiny steering wheel, matched with short-throw gearchanges, gives you a real sense that you are driving an old-fashioned sports car, while ultra-direct steering and a low-slung driving position mean everything feels 20mph quicker than it actually is.

Although it’s merely a bit of fun for Ford – there are no plans to put a 1.0-litre Seven on sale – it proves just how versatile this remarkable little engine is.

Most Popular

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'
Opinion Nissan EV
Nissan

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'

Steve Fowler thinks Nissan is in a great position to build on the Leaf's success
8 Apr 2021
Nissan to launch new Juke-sized electric car
Nissan Juke EV - front (watermarked)
Nissan Juke

Nissan to launch new Juke-sized electric car

The new Nissan Juke-sized electric car will sit below the Ariya, and our exclusive images preview how it could look
8 Apr 2021
New 2021 Citroen C5 teased ahead of reveal on 12 April
Citroen C5 2021
Citroen C5

New 2021 Citroen C5 teased ahead of reveal on 12 April

New flagship Citroen C5 model will make its debut next week, sporting a bold new look
8 Apr 2021