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New models - Caterham - Seven - 485

Australia’s fastest Caterham lands

Rapid new year: Caterham has ditched the SV R300 version of its Seven from the 2014 model range, replacing it with the faster and more expensive 485.

Seven 485 becomes the quickest Caterham ever sold in Australia, priced at $108,990

10 Jan 2014

ULTRA-LIGHT sportscar-maker Caterham has introduced a new range-topping variant of its bantamweight two-seater with the 177kW/206Nm Seven 485 – the fastest version ever sold in Australia.

Weighing in at just 675kg, the $108,990 track-car will crack 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds and, if you’re brave enough, the baby Brit won’t stop accelerating until 240km/h flashes up on the carbon-fibre dash.

The Seven 485 gets its power from a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine but the UK based builder tinkers with the standard four-cylinder to wring out some extra poke, which is fed to the tiny 15-inch rear rims via a close-ratio six-speed gearbox – manual of course.

Despite a boosted output and performance figures to match vehicles four times its price, the fizzy feather-weight still returns a combined fuel-consumption of just 7.7 litres per 100km.

In other words - for the price of a BMW 435i, Caterham is offering the acceleration of a Lamborghini Gallardo and the fuel-economy of a Kia Cerato.

There aren’t a lot in the way of creature-comforts though, and the Seven 485 lacks much of the equipment found as standard in many other cars including airbags, doors and a stereo.

Owners of the hi-po Seven do get some neat toys included in the asking price though, with dry-sump engine lubrication, 254mm race-brakes all round, adjustable suspension, carbon-fibre front panels, four-point harnesses and a roll-over bar as standard.

The rest of the Caterham Seven range remains unchanged with an entry-level Roadsport SV 120 on offer from $69,990 and two middle of the range 127kW/177Nm versions priced from $84,990 and $89,990 respectively.

Interestingly, the cheapest SV 120 escapes the 33% luxury car tax thanks to its frugal 1.6-litre fuel economy of 6.5 l/100km but still manages to get to 100 in a eye-opening six seconds.

Until this year, the previous top-performing model was the SV R300 which used a lower power and thirstier version of the Ford 2.0-litre.

In Caterham’s home country the model range is a little more diverse thanks to the UK’s Single Vehicle Approval system and more relaxed noise emissions regulations.

As a result European punters can put their hand up for a version of the Seven with 230kW, which will get to 100 in a mind-boggling 2.8 seconds – all for the equivalent of $92,600.

2014 Caterham Seven pricing*
Roadsport SV 120 1.6 $69,990
Roadsport SV 145 2.0 $84,990
CSR 175 2.0 $89,990
Seven 485 2.0 $108,990
*Excludes on-road costs.

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