Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Caterham lets two new cars loose on the US market

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August 16, 2014

The Seven 480 headed for the US market

The Seven 480 headed for the US market

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American devotees of the Caterham brand got a little love this week as the car maker presented two new models for the US market at Monterey Car Week. The Seven 480 and 360 are the latest variant on the classic, minimalist Caterham Seven sportscar introduced four decades ago, and are available to US customers directly through Caterham’s US distributor.

The Seven 480

According to Caterham, both variants are built around the two-liter Ford Duratec four-cylinder engine with a dry sump system. In the Seven 480, that cranks 237 bhp (174 kW) through the six-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential. When you consider how small and light a Caterham is, it’s no surprise that the 480 does 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.4 seconds and pegs the speedometer at 140 mph (225 km/h).

Built around a tubular steel frame, the 480 has a wide-body chassis, aluminum body, hand-laminated glass fiber wings and nose cone, 15-in superalloy wheels with ventilated front disc brakes and quad piston calipers, and De-Dion rear suspension with an independent front suspension.

In the cockpit, there are black leather adjustable seats with four-point racing harnesses, suede steering wheel, black-powder coated interior panels, and a black vinyl roof bag.

The Seven 360 headed for the US market
The Seven 360 headed for the US market

The Seven 360

The Seven 360 is very similar to the 480, with the main difference being slightly less power at 180 bhp (132 kW). Despite this, it still does 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds and tops out at 130 mph (209 km/h). Inside, it also shares a lot in common with the 480 as well, though it does have cloth adjustable seats, carpeted interior, and a Motolita Steering Wheel.

The Seven 480 and 360 are now available for purchase from Caterham’s US distributor, Superperformance, as a part-built rolling chassis that the buyer completes. Starting prices are US$44,900 for the Seven 360 and US$52,900 for the Seven 480.

Source: Caterham Cars

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.   All articles by David Szondy
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7 Comments

These cars must be top end limited. I suspect that they could reach much higher speeds.

Bob
17th August, 2014 @ 10:40 am PDT

BOB - Who needs more top speed than that?

The 'racing' factory versions will go faster, but driver skill limits the ease of killing oneself anyway.

The aim is 4-wheeled wind in the face motoring, not Bonneville speeds.

The Skud
17th August, 2014 @ 09:05 pm PDT

@ Bob

These are open cars and not built for high speed touring. Caterham was modeled after the Lotus 7 which was a kit car not intended to cruise at high speed. These cars are more like 4 wheel motor cycles. At triple digit speed, the wind noise and the baffle will worn-out the driver very fast. The cars are probably geared to reach that speed. To reach higher speed, these cars would need better aerodynamics.

Ed Yee
17th August, 2014 @ 10:53 pm PDT

They are not limited to any speed. They are just very draggy. If you ever get a chance to go for a ride in any of the 7 clones replicas or anything related you will have fun. A friend has one and i have wanted one forever so one day went for a cruise. He only has about 180hp but that is way more than you need, well maybe :-) They are like a go kart on steroids and out handle and accelerate anything right up to the drag limit. You sit low to the ground and it is very visceral as a result. And it feels like you are going fast even when you are obeying the speed limit. My friends speedo wasnt working so we grabbed my gps. We would have sworn we were doing over a 100 and it turns out just under 40. It is just that much of an overload, soooo much fun.

Wragie
18th August, 2014 @ 03:32 am PDT

Sunday driver, perfect weather, 2 hrs at a time.

Len Simpson
18th August, 2014 @ 12:35 pm PDT

I've scratch built a rail dune-buggy as a teen. These 7's are amazing...and completely within realm of reason as a builder project. Some day.

Paulinator
18th August, 2014 @ 03:33 pm PDT

Sooooo a single seater Caterham for Americans then....

All joking aside, are there issues with the larger framed Americans being able to fit into the figure hugging bucket seats and harnesses.

Will this be a new gauge on blind dates?

Not, "Can I go rowing with with my date, Will they fit in a row boat?", but now,

"Can I take my date out in my Caterham Seven 480? Will they fit in my Caterham Seven 480?"

Notcha
20th August, 2014 @ 08:46 am PDT
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