New models - Caterham - Seven - 485
Australia’s fastest Caterham lands
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.
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