For those itching for open-cockpit, agile, beautifully-styled roadsters, breathe a sigh of relief. No, this is no everyday post about the Jaguar F-Type or even the Porsche Boxster S. But yes, the illustrious, retro-styled Caterham Seven is slated to enter the US market. A car that provides one of the most involved driving experiences of any car on the road today.
Caterham CEO Graham Macdonald has confirmed that Caterham will use Irvine, CA-based Superformance as a distributor for their unconventional vehicles. Each Seven will be shipped from England to California as a rolling chassis, and many will remain disassembled even as they’re being delivered to customers, with much of the assembly required on the buyer’s part. For a nominal fee, however, some dealers in Superformance’s circuit will complete final assembly of the vehicles prior to their sale.
Though the variants of the Seven to be offered in the US haven’t been officially confirmed, there is certainty that the Seven 620R and 480 will both hit American shores. Caterham touts the 620R as their “fastest road car ever,” and rightfully so–its 2.0-liter, Ford-sourced supercharged four-cylinder delivers 310 horsepower to rocket the 620R from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds and to a top speed of 155 mph. In addition, its handling dynamics are modeled closely after those of Caterham’s F1 cars, making this small, open, British roadster a supercar through and through.
In addition, handling all of the Seven 620R’s torque is a new six-speed sequential manual gearbox with lightning-fast shifts. Though this transmission is taken directly from Caterham’s F1 team, it would be interesting to see Caterham install a dual-clutch unit into its cars to be more on par with modern supercars. Though weight-saving measures may have prevented this transmission choice, we may see a dual-clutch on Caterhams in the next few years, something that may elevate Sevens’ performance even further.
Though the timeframe isn’t clear as to when the first Sevens will arrive on US soil, expect deliveries to begin before the year is out. Stay tuned on TFLcar.com for more developments with the Caterham Seven.
Please enjoy this fun TFLcar.com video of Shelby Cobras from the Superformance shop: