Seen for the first time last week in leaked images, the Caterham AeroSeven concept previews a new performance road car from the British sports car manufacturer due to be launched in production form in 12 months.
The first-ever Caterham model to be fitted with traction and launch control functions, the two-seat, rear-wheel-drive carbonfibre-bodied AeroSeven concept is based on an updated version of the Seven CSR's platform.
Powered by a Ford-sourced, EU6-compliant naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine tied to a six-speed manual gearbox, the concept develops 177kW at 8500rpm and 206Nm at 6300rpm and claims 0-100km/h in 4.0 seconds.
Incorporating a Caterham Engine Management System, which is adjustable via steering wheel-mounted controls, the AeroSeven concept offers drivers a choice of the default ‘Race’ mode, a ‘Road’ mode and ‘Flash-to-Pass’ and ‘Pit Lane Speed Limiter’ functions.
Formula 1-style in-board pushrod double wishbone suspension and four-piston brake calipers with ventilated discs feature up front while fully independent double wishbones and single sliding piston calipers with solid discs take care of the rear. New dampers, springs and anti-roll bars also join a driver-adjustable ‘race-derived’ Bosch anti-lock braking system and 15-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, an all-new 3D display unit, developed by Caterham Technology and Innovation (CTI), integrates information covering vehicle and engine speed, gear selection, traction and brake settings, and fuel and oil levels.
Caterham Cars says over the coming months, project engineers will be assessing a number of powerplant options before deciding on the final production version ahead of the car’s 2014 launch.
The firm’s managing director Graham Macdonald said, “Over the coming years, we will be expanding our range of sports cars 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.”
The concept – significantly more futuristic than the company's recently revealed entry-level Seven 165 – is also said to hint at the styling direction of the all-new sports car being co-developed with Renault/Alpine due to launch in early 2016.
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