Caterham Seven Superlight Twenty celebrates 1996 original

Latest special edition matches the power-to-weight ratio of the Seven 270

Twenty years ago, the original Caterham Seven Superlight completely changed perception of the lightweight sports car.

Always entertaining, balanced and fast on road and track, the Superlight offered supercar-slaying performance through a combination of ultra light weight – from GRP seats, and the removal of the windscreen, carpets and spare wheel – and tuning to the model’s Rover K-Series engine.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

Ahead of the Goodwood Revival, Caterham has launched an homage to the original with the Superlight Twenty. With reference to both the anniversary of the original and the number Caterham will produce, the Superlight isn’t quite as extreme now as it seemed back then, but it’s still fast.

A 135bhp, 122lb ft version of the 1.6-litre Ford Sigma engine sits under the nose panel, putting its power through a six-speed close-ratio gearbox. The result is a 0-60mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 122mph – aerodynamics has never been the Seven’s forte.

Advertisement - Article continues below

There’s also a lightweight flywheel to help the engine spin up, a limited-slip differential to curtail unwanted wheelspin at the rear, and a ‘Sport’ suspension pack to lessen your chances of spinning out on the circuit.

Alongside those features is a carbonfibre dashboard – previously the reserve of Caterham’s current range-topper, the 620R – and carbon sports seats. Each car features a numbered dash plaque, unique gauges and a Superlight Twenty motif on the gearknob and key.

In all, the latest Superlight tips the scales at 498kg, for a power-to-weight ratio of 271bhp per ton. That effectively matches the existing Caterham Seven 270, illustrating the car’s position in the Caterham range.

Caterham calls it one of the ‘most visceral’ cars it has produced yet, despite its relative lack of performance next to the more powerful models in the Caterham range. The company says it has attempted to recreate the magic of the original in the latest car, which ‘epitomises Colin Chapman’s fundamental principles of performance through light weight’.

Lightweight it may be, but the price tag reflects its rarity – each of the 20 examples made will cost £29,995 factory-built (£26,995 if you want to build it yourself), to the £22,995 Caterham charges for a Seven 270. The car will be launched at this weekend’s Goodwood Revival.



Audi RS5

Facelift for 2020 Audi RS5, RS5 Sportback

10 Dec 2019
Jaguar F-Type

2020 Jaguar F-type revealed 

2 Dec 2019
Lexus RC F

2019 Lexus RC F review

2 Dec 2019

BMW Z4 M40i pumped up to 394bhp by AC Schnitzer

29 Nov 2019

Most Popular


Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 hypercar revealed

A true successor to the McLaren F1, Gordon Murray Automotive has revealed more about its spectacular T.50 hypercar
10 Dec 2019
Ford Focus Hatchback

2019 Ford Focus EcoBoost review

Some might suggest the UK is falling out of love with family hatchbacks, but the Focus EcoBoost is a good reminder of why it remains a compelling pack…
9 Dec 2019

Best new cars 2020

2020 is unlikely to halt the electric car push, but it should also bring with it more than a few fascinating new players
10 Dec 2019
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019