New 237bhp Caterham AeroSeven to go on sale in 2014 following public debut at Autosport show in January
16 December 2013

The Caterham AeroSeven concept will have its public debut at the Autosport International show in January.

The 237bhp concept was first seen ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix this year, with Caterham confirming the model will go into production in autumn of next year.

The design showcases the future direction that the British company will take with its styling and engineering.

The AeroSeven Concept will reach production as the first model to be designed and developed with input from each of the company’s divisions: Caterham Technology and Innovation (CTI), the firm's composite facility, the F1 team and Caterham Cars itself.

This new model will precede the sports car that Caterham is currently co-developing with Renault, although company chiefs hint that the AeroSeven Concept does offer some clues to the styling of that vehicle, which is due to arrive in 2016.

The new two-seater is underpinned by an updated version of the Seven CSR’s chassis and features fully independent rear and pushrod front suspension, with new dampers, springs and anti-roll bars. 

The concept is powered by the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder naturally aspirated Ford Duratec-based unit also fitted in the recently launched Caterham Seven 485. The high-revving engine, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels, produces a maximum of 237bhp at 8500rpm and 152lb ft of torque at 6300rpm. However, project engineers are assessing a number of powerplant options and the definitive production version of AeroSeven could use a different engine. 

Caterham claims a sub-4.0sec 0-62mph sprint for the concept car, which is the first Caterham to be equipped with fully adjustable traction and launch control, provided via a new engine management system developed by the company. Caterham is also analysing the feasibility of using Bosch’s race-derived anti-lock braking system on the production version. Like many of Caterham’s performance-orientated Sevens, the AeroSeven Concept sits on 15in Avon CR500 tyres.

The car weighs about 635kg, and Caterham quotes a power-to-weight ratio in the region of 397bhp per tonne.

In a diversion to the stripped-down ethos that has been a feature of most of Caterham’s previous models, the AeroSeven is clad in carbonfibre bodywork. Developed with input from Caterham F1 Team performance director John Iley and the CTI design team, the body shape helps to give the AeroSeven different handling characteristics to other high-performance models in Caterham’s range.

It boasts more downforce and sleeker aerodynamics, although the drag coefficient has yet to be determined because the company’s engineers are still optimising the package.

The AeroSeven’s interior showcases technology that is likely to filter down into some of Caterham’s future models. A new graphical display unit developed by CTI integrates all display and instrumentation in a high-resolution, centrally mounted unit. It shows information such as engine speed, gear selection, vehicle speed, traction and brake settings, fuel and oil levels in a 3D display. 

The high-performance car can be switched between two driving modes – Race and Road – via a steering wheel-mounted button. The default setting is Race, and engaging Road mode restricts peak power via a reduced rev limit. The steering wheel also incorporates ‘Flash-to-Pass’ and ‘Pit Lane Speed Limiter’ functions.

As well as marking the start of a new chapter for styling and engineering, Caterham intends for the AeroSeven to showcase the firm’s technological expertise and the pace at which it can develop ideas from concept to production. 

Graham Macdonald, managing director of Caterham Cars, said: “Over the coming years, we will be expanding our range of sports cars as we look to meet the differing needs and desires of potential customers – from the lifestyle customer to the ultimate thrill-seeker. The AeroSeven Concept is the first model in that journey.”

No price has been mooted for the production version. Caterham chiefs have yet to determine the exact specification and materials that will be used in the car’s build.

“Before we bring it to market there will be changes to it, primarily because of homologation but also because we want to get it in the right place in the market. We need to sit down and work out what the price would be with the bill of materials on this concept, and what we would need to do, if anything, to bring the price down,” said Macdonald.

The manufacture and tooling of components for the AeroSeven Concept was split between Caterham Technology and Innovation in Hingham, Norfolk and the F1 Team’s base in Leafield, Oxon. Production models will be constructed at the Caterham Cars factory in Dartford, UK.  

Our Verdict

Caterham Seven
The Caterham Seven is the essence of a stripped-down sports car

The Caterham Seven is a stripped-down sportscar offering one of the most pure driving experiences available. It is a true classic.

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Comments
15

20 September 2013

Looks like they've tried to put the nose of a normal '7' on the front of the wide nosed concept and were hoping no-one would notice the gaping holes either side. I'm pleased this is just a concept and only hints at production styling.

20 September 2013

Reference the first post by Will86 . . .

Is that not the intention?! The car is immediately recognised as a Caterham.

The 7’s “nose” is as distinctive a characteristic as is BMW’s “kidney” shaped “radiator” grill . . . even though that has been re-interpreted, stretched, pulled, and squashed over the years by BMW.

Without the 7’s “nose” the anonymous design could have come from anywhere!

21 September 2013
RCT V wrote:

Reference the first post by Will86 . . .

Is that not the intention?! The car is immediately recognised as a Caterham.

The 7’s “nose” is as distinctive a characteristic as is BMW’s “kidney” shaped “radiator” grill . . . even though that has been re-interpreted, stretched, pulled, and squashed over the years by BMW.

Without the 7’s “nose” the anonymous design could have come from anywhere!

Nothing wrong with using the 7 nose if it's properly integrated in the design but the front end of this concept looks out of proportion with the rest of the car.

20 September 2013

Bit more like it!,something that looks like it's from this Century,instead of driving a Historic look a like.

Peter Cavellini.

20 September 2013

... from the Aston Martin CC100? Not saying it's bad but am I the only one to notice this (especially around the front wing/wheel arch area)?

20 September 2013

Fabulous.

A sign that Caterham intend to stick to their knitting.

*belch*

20 September 2013

Like it. Could have done without the daft blue LED strip, though..


20 September 2013

Is this anything else than a CSR reclad with some carbon-fiber or does the car have a bathtub chassis? It looks great but I would only sign up for the latter / not the former.

20 September 2013

There is no reason why it could not be a popular fun road car, and for that reason they could make it cheaper to own/run by giving it a 1.6 turbo instead with same power. Would fit with F1 more too.

20 September 2013

I've got to say that I like it!
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I even like the hint of the standard 7 nose on the concept car.
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The flowing surfaces are wonderful, as is the use of LED lighting on the sides.

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