As the legendary Seven nears its fiftieth birthday in 2007, Caterham has announced pricing and specification for the new ‘Ford Sigma’ engine range in the two-seater sportscar. Production for 2007 delivery begins in November.
Replacing the K-Series engine after 15 years of service, the bespoke-tuned 1.6-litre Sigma promises to take the driving enjoyment of the Seven to even greater heights thanks to a perfect blend of meaty torque, stiff lightweight construction, and exceptionally smooth power delivery.
Owners will have a choice of two power outputs in either Roadsport or Superlight trim at launch. A third, more powerful variant will follow in Q2 2007. Both Sigma units should emphatically stamp their mark on road and race track, thanks to an unusually flat torque curve.
The new Sigma units will be mated to a Seven chassis that has recently benefited from investment in a new precision laser-cut, robot-welded manufacturing process. The resultant 12 percent increase in torsional rigidity translates to improved real world cornering performance and handling feel.
The price of the new entry level Caterham Seven Roadsport – £15,995 in component form – is the same as the outgoing K-Series powered model despite the increase in power, torque, economy and chassis rigidity. Weighing in at a mere 550kg, the magic 60mph mark will be reached in just 5.9 seconds (estimated).
Next on offer is the 140bhp in either Roadsport, from £16,995, or the minimalist, more track-focused Superlight version, from £19,995. In its stripped-out Superlight clothing, drivers will enjoy a power-to-weight punch of 280bhp-per-tonne and the ability to hit 60mph in less than 4.7 seconds – all for sub-£20,000.
More than 10,000 road, and 1,200 track, miles have been completed as part of the Sigma engine validation process making it the most rigorous R&D programme of its kind in Caterham’s long and illustrious history.
The entry-level 125bhp and 140bhp derivatives will be available to order from November for delivery in the New Year.