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Supercharged Seven is the most powerful Caterham ever

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June 7, 2007

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June 8, 2007 To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Caterham has unveiled the most powerful Seven ever; the X330 – a one-off supercharged model boasting a mind-boggling power-to-weight ratio of 600bhp per tonne. Caterham’s basic formula of useable power and extreme light weight is put clearly in perspective when viewed on a chart against the rest of the world’s exotica (see right). The stealthy, matt black concept is based around the range-topping CSR Superlight, but the addition of a supercharger to the four-cylinder 2.3 litre Ford Duratec engine increases power massively from 260 to 330bhp, as the name suggests.

The near 35% power hike is achieved by a Rotrex C30-94 supercharger, which provides a boost characteristic that rises linearly with engine speed. In other words, although the X330’s punch is greater at higher revs and speed, low-speed driveability isn't compromised thanks to an exceptional torque curve with over 221 lb-ft from 5500 to 7500rpm – 20 lb-ft more than the CSR260.

As the X330 is an engineering test bed it is envisaged that some of the concepts will eventually find their way into production. To begin with the X330 will spearhead the British firm’s R&D; into bioethanol power in the coming months as it seeks to assess the viability of alternative fuel sources in road and race applications and cement a further 50 years of history for the legendary Seven.

In keeping with the Seven ethos of ‘adding lightness’, the extremity of the X330 doesn’t stop at moving parts. Lighter gauge steel is used in the trellis-style chassis and the use of new lightweight wheels together with an abundant use of carbon fibre for the bodywork all adds to the stealth appearance of this perfect 50th birthday present.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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