Skip advert
Advertisement

Caterham 7 620R review

Caterham 7 620R is supercharged racer for the road and is the fastest 7 ever produced

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Find your Caterham 7
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Hassle-free way to a brand new car
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

With the 620R you don't get a lot of car for your money, and it’s punishing to drive long distances or anywhere near a town centre. But on the right road, only the Ariel Atom matches it for heart-in-mouth thrills. Other Caterhams deliver purer handling, but the 620R feels truly special every time you climb in.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The Caterham 7 620R is a the latest and most extreme addition to a Caterham range that has never been so diverse. Later this year a more affordable, turbocharged three-cylinder 7 will go on sale to bookend the line-up along with the 620R.

The 620R (a reference to its phenomenal power-to-weight ratio) dethrones the Superlight R500 as the fastest roadgoing 7 to date. Under the clip-on bonnet is a new 310bhp 2.0-litre supercharged engine that propels the car from 0-60mph in just 2.8 seconds – enough to challenge the Ariel Atom Supercharged’s position as one of the very fastest things on four wheels.

It goes without saying that the 620R isn’t for the faint-hearted. At the launch, company CEO Graham Macdonald warned: “I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this car for drivers with little or no experience of Caterhams.” And after experiencing the full-throttle rush of the 620R first-hand, we see exactly what he means.

Sat just inches from the road, hugged tightly on all sides and peering over the carbon-fibre aero screen, you feel like you’re sitting in a pure racing car. Fire up the engine and it splutters into life, followed by a blare from the exhaust next to your right ear.

The main problem is finding somewhere to safely deploy even a small fraction of the available performance. The sheer force of this car exploding towards its 7,200rpm red line – with the exhaust note and speed intensifying beyond 5,000rpm – is shocking. You need big biceps to handle the sequential gearbox (which bangs through changes without requiring you to dip the clutch) and a strong neck to keep an eye on the road.

In corners, the 620R feels like your typical Caterham, reacting instantly to the slightest turn of the tiny Momo steering wheel.

There’s no body roll to speak of, and you live in constant fear that a mistimed twitch of your right foot could send you into the hedgerows. Fortunately, the sticky Avon track tyres fitted as standard ensure remarkable levels of grip in the dry – we suspect it would be a different story in the wet.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

New 2024 Vauxhall Frontera is a family-friendly SUV priced to worry rivals
Vauxhall Frontera - front
News

New 2024 Vauxhall Frontera is a family-friendly SUV priced to worry rivals

Vauxhall’s value-focused Frontera SUV will replace the Crossland with ICE and EV powertrains
9 Apr 2024
Car Deal of the Day: stylish Peugeot 2008 is a steal at an incredible £142 a month
Peugeot 2008 facelift - full front
News

Car Deal of the Day: stylish Peugeot 2008 is a steal at an incredible £142 a month

Buyers can snap up the Peugeot 2008 small SUV at a bargain price; it’s our Car Deal of the Day for 10 April at just £142 a month
10 Apr 2024
Alfa Romeo Milano 2024 preview: walkaround, specs and full details
Alfa Romeo Milano - front 3/4 static
News

Alfa Romeo Milano 2024 preview: walkaround, specs and full details

Alfa Romeo re-entered the small SUV sector with the new Milano offered in pure electric and petrol forms
12 Apr 2024