Caterham Seven Supersport R (2012) first pictures

Published: 09 November 2012

It’s certainly been a busy week for Caterham. Just a few days ago the company announced its partnership with Renault to create a new range of Alpine sports cars, and now the Surrey-based outfit has gone back its roots to develop an even more hardcore version of the Seven Supersport.

Called the Caterham Seven Supersport R, the lightweight special gets an engine capacity increase and power bump over the regular car, but carries over its racing car-derived suspension.

What exactly is new on the latest Caterham Supersport?

The regular Supersport makes do with a 140bhp 1.6-litre Ford Duratec engine with which to haul the featherweight Seven’s 520kg. To earn the new car its ‘R’ designation, Caterham has equipped it with a 2.0-litre Ford motor, bumping power to 180bhp. Weight is also up a touch, to 535kg.

Caterham claims the 25% jump in poke gives the Supersport R much harder mid-range punch, though there’s only a slight improvement in raw benchmark numbers. The Supersport R reaches 60mph in 4.8sec (0.1sec faster than the standard Supersport) and tops out at 130mph (10mph quicker than its smaller-engined brethrin.)

The other main change is to the price: there’s a £5000 premium between the regular Supersport and its R sister, meaning a fully assembled price-tag of £27,995. Opt to build it yourself from kit form and that drops to £24,995. Time to break out the spanners…

And the bits that have stayed the same?

The tyres are still sticky Avon CR500 items, while the springs and dampers are also carried over from the regular Supersport. You also get a short-ratio five-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential, as before.

A minimalist aero-screen is standard-fit, but if you want to drive without the need for a helmet, a full windscreen is an option, as seen in these pictures.

>> Is Seven-tweaking what Caterham does best, or are you more excited by the new Caterham-Alpine sports car? Tell us by clicking ‘Add your comment’ below 

By Ollie Kew

Former road tester and staff writer of this parish