Tuesday 24 September 2013

Road - Sexy Seven?

When it comes to fast cars, or at least cars which can tingle the tootsies, the Caterham 7 is up there with the best of them, regardless of price. However, it has always relied on its pedigree, heritage and rather traditional looks to ensure that only those who love automotive purity will be attracted to it. But a sexy seven? That’s only for heretics, or is it?

The new AeroSeven Concept is all set to challenge the cloth cap and tweed jacket brigade, especially the ones with leather elbow patches! Drawing heavily on F1 team ideas, this will be the first ever Caterham to be fitted with traction control, and will also have fully-adjustable traction and launch control.

Utilising a normally-aspirated, EU6-approved, 240ps (237bhp) Ford Duratec engine, the carbon-fibre bodied concept vehicle will be able to reach 100 kph (62.5 mph) in under 4 seconds.

The radical new aerodynamic styling is wrapped around the CSR chassis which features fully independent rear and F1-style inboard (pushrod) front suspension while new dampers, springs and anti-roll bars harmonise the car’s aerodynamic characteristics.

A brand new fully active graphical display unit (GDU) developed by Caterham Technology & Innovation integrates all display and instrumentation in a high-resolution, centrally mounted unit. It displays information such as engine speed, gear selection, vehicle speed, traction and brake  settings, fuel and oil levels in a smart, intuitive ‘next-generation’, real-time 3D rendered display.

Additionally, the race-inspired steering wheel incorporates ‘Road’ mode, ‘Flash-to-Pass’ and ‘Pit Lane Speed Limiter’ functions.

And just in case you’re worried about ‘watering down’ the appeal, the car’s default setting is ‘Race’ mode! When the steering wheel-mounted button is depressed, ‘Road’ mode is engaged, altering the engine’s character by reducing peak power through a reduced rev limit.

Still worried? The Caterham Engine Management System can be completely disengaged if required.

Graham Macdonald, Managing Director of Caterham Cars, said: “Over the coming years, we will be expanding our range of sportscars 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.”

Delivery of the production version of the concept model is expected to begin in autumn next year (2014).

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