The Caterham Seven Lives: Team Lotus Buys Caterham

Image: Team Lotus

In the U.S., you need to be a true enthusiast to know what a Caterham Seven is, but the car is known, loved and feared throughout the rest of the world. Based on the minimalist Lotus 7, the Caterham Seven is a tube frame, front-engine, rear-drive sports car that’s always been about function over form. Some variants are road legal while some are reserved for the track. Some are powered by a 1.4-liter four, good for just 105 horsepower, while the range-topping Superlight R500 gets a 263 horsepower out of a 2.0-liter Ford Duratec. That’s good enough to get the R500 from 0 to 60 in 2.88 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 150 miles per hour. All of them, including the base Classic model, are superb-handling cars that reward smooth driving and punish those lacking in finesse.

It looks like Caterham will live on for the foreseeable future, thanks to their recent acquisition by Team Lotus. That’s separate from Lotus Cars, but don’t worry: Team Lotus has deep pockets since they’re backed by Air Asia chairman Tony Fernandes. No management changes are planned at Caterham, but the manufacturer will get a much needed infusion of cash. To celebrate the union, Caterham is building a limited run of Team Lotus Sevens, with just 50 to be sold worldwide. If you want one on this side of the pond, give Caterham USA a call, but beware: prices for the entry-lever Classic start at $29,580, and a Superlight R500 will set you back at least $61,057. No one ever said that speed came cheap.

Source: Autoblog