2016 Caterham Seven 620S (14)

Caterham makes rather bonkers road and race cars for drivers wanting the essence of driving – fast, quick and razor-sharp. Now, there’s a new one. Descended from the legendary Lotus Seven, the company has taken the Seven’s DNA and distilled it into the Seven 620S.

The ‘S’ package is now an option for the Seven 620R, toning down the level of crazy a little, as is the wider-bodied S5 chassis, for the, ahem, wider-bodied driver. The S5 chassis is wider and longer than the standard S3, with the benefit of more interior and luggage space, and, more useful, to accommodate a larger fuel tank.

Using the same 310 hp two-litre, supercharged Ford Duratec engine as found in the 620R, the 620S takes top-of-the-range honours with the 620R as Caterham’s fastest cars. Torque is also the same, 219 Nm at 7,350 rpm. This propels the 620S to 100 km/h in 3.44 seconds along to a claimed top speed of 233 km/h.

Instead of the six-speed sequential gearbox that comes with the 620R, the 620S has a five-speed manual. This doesn’t detract from Caterham’s philosophy of delivering a special brand of unapologetically raucous fun though.

Other modern conveniences in the Seven’s otherwise austere design ethos are a heater, full windscreen, hood and side screens and leather seats. A nod to comfort are the leather seats that come as standard, versus the carbon-fibre items in the 620R. Carbon-fibre seats will cost buyers an extra 600 pounds sterling (RM3,800).

If potential owners are worried about the character of the Seven 620S going a little too ‘soft’, they can rest assured it isn’t – the road springs and dampers, the up-rated brake master cylinder and limited-slip differential are taken from the 620R to ensure optimum handling.

Other carry-overs from the 620R are the carbon interior panels, dashboard and lightweight flywheel. A nod to the road-going nature of the 620S come in the form of the 15-inch Orcus anthracite alloy wheels shod with Avon ZZS tyres.

The Catherham Seven 620S is only available as a factory car, hand-built in Dartford, Kent. Prices for the Seven 620S start at 44,995 pounds sterling (RM286,000), while the 620R goes for 49,995 pounds sterling (RM317,000). Orders are currently being taken by Caterham, with customer deliveries of the 620S expected in late 2016.

GALLERY: Caterham Seven 620R