The Caterham 160 will go on sale in January next year
First deliveries of the car are expected in the spring of next year
The 160 is billed as Caterham's entry-level model
It's designed to make the Seven more accessible for budget buyers
Caterham also hopes that once people try the 160, they'll move up the model range
The 160 is powered by a 660cc Suzuki engine
It's mated to a five-speed manual gearbox
The car was first seen at the Frankfurt motor show
A live rear axle suspension setup features on the 160
The three-cylinder turbocharged engine is the smallest and most efficient unit to power the Seven
The Caterham 160 features steel wheels, and is seen here on display at the Frankfurt motor show
The 660cc three-pot has been modified by Caterham, which has upped power from 64bhp to 80bhp
Caterham has revealed new details about its Caterham Seven 160, including the price.
The new car will cost from £14,995 in kit form, rising to £17,995 for a ready-built model.
The 160, which has been named in reference to its approximate power-to-weight ratio, is powered by a Suzuki-built 660cc, three-cylinder turbocharged engine – the smallest and most efficient engine ever to power a Seven. It develops 80bhp and 79lb ft of torque.
The 160 can accelerate to 60mph in 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of 100mph.
Caterham says the new model has been designed for maximum weight saving and pays homage to the ultra-lightweight credentials of the original Lotus Seven.
The new model will be badged as 160 in the UK, but 165 in European markets. The naming strategy is an attempt to emphasise the engine's Euro-V compliance. A spokesman confirmed that while power will be unchanged, European models will be subject to a small number of minor modifications to meet legislative standards in other markets. The move follows a new naming standard for Caterham models, in which European models will end in '5'.
The compact engine will be mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, supplied by Suzuki but adapted by Caterham’s engineering division.
Caterham says it has “fine-tuned” the engine to suit the Seven’s characteristics while delivering improved economy and emissions. In fact, Caterham has improved the standard output of the engine from 64bhp to 80bhp. The engine currently powers the Japanese-market Suzuki Jimny and every compact MPV in Suzuki's range. A live rear axle suspension setup is used on the 160.
Speaking to Autocar after the car's reveal at the Frankfurt motor show, Caterham Cars' CEO Graham Macdonald said: “It is not engine size that matters; it is the grin factor that is our barometer, and we believe we have got the formula for our new entry-level vehicle just right.
“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.”
Production of the 160 will begin in January 2014 and sales will commence next spring.