Introducing the Seven 170

Seven 170 – the new featherweight Seven

At a time when most mainstream cars seem to be piling on the pounds, the announcement of Caterham’s “lightest ever production car” comes as a welcome surprise.  With a headline weight of just 440kg, the Seven 170 is listed as being 50kg lighter than Seven 160 it replaces.   Of course, as an entry-level car powered by a 660cc turbocharged Suzuki engine, it’s not designed as an all-out track weapon, but with 84bhp and 116Nm of torque, the power-to-weight ratio of 170bhp/ton should still make for a very entertaining drive.

The Seven 170 is also the smallest Caterham as well — measuring just 1,470mm wide, it’s 105mm narrower than anything else within the current range.  Part of the justification for these diminutive dimensions and small engine capacity is, of course, the fact that the model conforms to Japanese Kei car regulations With Japan such a key market for Caterham Cars, and the recent acquisition of the business by VT Holdings, such a move makes clear sense.

In a further departure from the 160 which was only available in a single base configuration, prospective Seven 170 customers can choose between two packs, the road-ready 170S or the more stripped back, track-focused 170R whose features include sport suspension, limited-slip differential, composite race seats, four-point race harness and a carbon-fibre dashboard.  An added bonus of the pared-back design lies in reduced emissions; ULEZ and Euro 6 compliant, the new model also claims to be Caterham’s lowest emission model, which is likely to become increasingly important in future years.

At a time when the pool of available internal combustion engines is shrinking, and emissions regulations are getting tighter and tighter, the launch of this new model has to be excellent news for the future of the Seven.  The Seven 160 proved itself to be a highly entertaining car to drive; we plan to get behind the wheel of the Seven 170 in both ‘S’ and ‘R’ Pack finishes for a report in Lowflying magazine very soon.

Seven 170S — complete kit £22,990

Seven 170R — complete kit £23,990

Factory build, including OTR package £2,395

S Pack includes:

• 5 speed gearbox

• Road suspension pack

• 14” Silver Juno alloy wheels with Avon ZT7 tyres

• Full windscreen, hood and side screens

• Unique key, gear knob and instruments

• LED rear lights and indicators

• Heater

• Black leather seats

• Momo steering wheel

• Polished exhaust

• Carpeted rear panel

• Choice of four paint finishes

R Pack includes:

• 5 Speed gearbox

• Sport suspension pack

• 14” Black Juno alloy wheels with polished lip and Avon ZT7 tyres

• Limited slip differential

• Carbon fibre dashboard

• Composite race seats

• Momo steering wheel

• 4 point race harnesses

• Black pack

• Unique key, gear knob and instruments

• LED rear lights and indicators

• Shift light

• Polished exhaust

• Choice of four paint finishes