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Caterham in 2009

24th December, 2008

Since entering the Australian market in 2006 with ADR compliant factory built cars, the Caterham model line-up has been restricted to just one model, the "flagship" Caterham Seven SVR 200.

This is about to change.

For the 2009 model year, Caterham will offer an even better "flagship" model, the latest of the classic Seven models, the CSR 200.

Powered by a rather special hand built 2.3 litre Cosworth engine, the Seven CSR 200 is a sports car offering scintillating performance for the discerning sports car enthusiast.

But, as not everyone can afford a top model and indeed may not even want an ultra-high performance Caterham, the company has announced the availability of a substantially more affordable "entry" model, the 1.6 litre Ford powered SVR 120.

All these cars offer undiluted driving pleasure in its purest form and all are road registerable anywhere in Australia.

Being a "clubman" type of car, they are all also ideally suited to many types of motor sport, from track days, to tarmac rallies, sprints, hill climbs and racing.

So, whether your ideal is to have an intimate road car to enjoy on a country road, or to cruise "down the along the beach" on a nice day, or to indulge in some motor sport, a Caterham model is there to please.

Australian Model Range and Pricing

For 2009, the Caterham model range in Australia is as follows:
Caterham Seven SVR 120  $69,850
Caterham Seven SVR 200 $119,000
Caterham Seven CSR 200 $129,000

On-road costs are additional.

Brief model descriptions:

Both SVR models feature the 110 mm wider and 80 mm longer laser welded SV chassis, in comparison with the smaller original Caterham Classic models.

This means more interior space and a bigger boot and fuel tank.

Significantly, using the SV chassis also means that the cars comply with the latest ADR seatbelt and occupant safety regulations.

The "R" in the name indicates that these cars are also based on European Roadsport models, designed in the first place for normal road use. Hence, the SVR model branding used in Australia.

The CSR model also uses the larger SV chassis, but is equipped with an inboard front suspension system and a fully independent rear suspension.

SVR commonalities:

Both SVR models also share the traditional outboard front suspension design, with exposed front wheels and 'cycle' guards.

At the rear, both use a proven semi-independent De Dion rear suspension design.

Besides the ADR related issues, Australian Caterhams also offer a higher level of standard specification to UK cars, with standard equipment including:

  • Black pack - headlights, windscreen frame, wipers, exhaust guard finished in matt black, with carbon fibre sill protectors and carbon fibre rear guard protectors
  • Tonneau cover
  • Carbon fibre dash (optional on SVR 120)
  • Rear exit exhaust
  • ADR approved dash padding

Full weather protection accessory components are also supplied, comprising of a soft-top and sidescreens.

Although equipment levels are deliberately kept low to keep weight down, both SVR models also come as standard with:

  • a powerful heater
  • an efficient electrically heated windscreen
  • a leather bound steering wheel
  • a polished gear knob
  • full interior trim
  • Avon CR500 tyres (optional on SVR 120)
  • alloy wheels
  • disc brakes all round
  • a roll-over hoop.

SVR differences:

The main difference between the two SVR models is in the different types of engines used.

The Caterham Seven SVR 120:

The SVR 120 uses the latest 1.6 litre Ford Sigma 85 kW engine, which is compliant with Euro 5 emission standards. Being all aluminium, of compact dimensions and provided with a wide spread of torque, the Ford engine is an ideal power plant for use in the light weight Caterham.

Matched to a 5-speed manual gearbox, the SVR 120 model captures the spirit of the original Seven in a modern form. It is a quick car and offers all the fun that customers expect of a Seven.

The Caterham Seven SVR 120 is quite happy to be driven in traffic and can be used as a "daily-driver" by an enthusiast owner, yet is always best enjoyed on an "open" road.

There is even a usable practical shaped boot!

Options include the Caterham designed 6-speed gearbox, ventilated AP Racing front brakes, Avon CR500 tyres on 15" alloy rims and a carbon fibre dash.

The Caterham Seven SVR 200

This is a more serious machine!

In contrast to the SVR 120, the SVR 200 uses a race oriented, hand build (and expensive) 2.3 litre Cosworth Ford 147 kW (200 bhp) engine.

Whilst using a Ford Duratec aluminium block, these engines are built in the pristine Cosworth racing engine factory by specialist engine builders, using Cosworth internal components, cylinder head and dedicated special ECU. Items such as the inlet manifold are unique to Caterham and matched to the bespoke Caterham ultra close-ratio 6-speed manual gearbox.

Furthermore, in true racing style, this Cosworth engine has a light weight flywheel and a dry sump lubrication system.

The SVR 200 model also comes as standard with adjustable suspension platforms and an adjustable rear anti-roll bar.

It is also fitted with upgraded "race spec" ventilated front disc brakes as standard. A limited slip differential is available as an option.

It is a very quick car which will please "hard core" enthusiasts!

The Caterham Seven CSR 200

This is the ultimate Seven for Australia.

It shares its mechanical drive train with the SVR 200, so in straight line acceleration terms it offers the same performance.

The CSR 200 differs mainly in the area of its suspension. Here, the front suspension is mounted inboard for better aerodynamics, resulting in this model having a higher top speed. The front guards are also aerodynamically shaped for less drag and better downforce.

Subtle nose aerofoil extensions also assist high speed aerodynamics, by increasing front downforce.

At the rear, the CSR 200 utilises a fully independent rear suspension with wider rear wheels and tyres providing better lateral grip for high speed cornering.

This results in the CSR 200 being a quicker car on a circuit than the SVR 200.

An even more powerful version of the 2.3 litre Cosworth engine, developing 191 kW (260 bhp) is available for track use.

Caterham Options

Caterham offers an extensive list of options, particularly for cars intended for use in competition.

However, for road cars, it is useful to bear in mind:
* In the spirit of the original Seven, body paint is optional on a Caterham Seven. The standard car is built with an unpainted aluminium body and the choice of 6 colours for the fibreglass nose cone and guards. The Caterham colours from which to choose are Orange, Black, Green (BRG), Blue, Yellow and Red.
* Painted bodies cost extra, metallic paint more so.
* Contrast colour striping and nose cone banding is optional.
* Charcoal coloured cloth trim is standard, Black and Red Leather trim being optional.
* A "track day" roll over hoop with extra diagonal bracing is optional and recommended for cars intended for motor sport use.
* A spare wheel carrier and a spare wheel is optional (not available on the CSR)

Local Availability

All Caterhams for Australia are custom built to bespoke customer requirements. Hence, orders are only accepted in conjunction with a deposit (in the traditional manner).

The importer is located in King Street, West Melbourne (Victoria).

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