caterham seven suzuki

Remember the sub-£17k (RM80k) entry-level Caterham Seven teased in June? Well, its “super-compact, flexible and EU6-compliant engine” has been revealed to be a turbocharged 660cc three-cylinder engine (K6A) built by Suzuki.

Yes, as niche as it is, even Caterham isn’t spared from the global downsizing trend. The legendary kit car has never hidden a smaller and more fuel-efficient engine under its long bonnet. However, at least the Malaysian-owned carmaker can say it’s in line with good ol’ Chapman’s ‘add lightness’ mantra.

The engine currently powers the Japanese-market Suzuki Jimny and Every van – both kei cars. Mated to a Suzuki five-speed manual, it has been adapted by Caterham Group’s engineering division to suit a re-engineered chassis that “harks back to the spirit of former Sevens,” with “major revisions to the suspension layout.”

Besides a comprehensive re-tune, there’s a new ECU and narrow front suspension arms, according to CAR Magazine UK. The car also makes use of a Suzuki-sourced beam rear axle – the original Seven had a similar setup.

caterham seven suzuki

Relocated are the steering rack and axle mounts, affording improved steering feel and reduced weight. No numbers have been officially divulged yet, but the British publication speculates a 90-100 hp output.

“It is not engine size that matters,” said Caterham Cars CEO Graham Macdonald, “it is the grin factor that is our barometer and we believe we have got the formula for our new entry-level vehicle just right.” So there you have it – you don’t need size to make one grin.

The new model (dethroning the Caterham Roadsport 125 as the base model in the range) is set for an autumn launch, with first deliveries expected before the end of the year.

At the other end of the scale sits the monstrous Caterham 620R – this luckiest Seven of them all gets a supercharged 2.0 litre Ford Duratec motor that produces 311 hp and close to 300 Nm of torque, catapulting it to 100 km/h from rest in under three seconds.