Caterham Seven 170 revealed – super lightweight Seven stripped to the extreme

There are lightweights, and there’s Caterham’s Seven 170 weighing in at just 440kg

The omnipresence of Caterham’s iconic Seven amongst the performance car scene might make you think any shock value is difficult to achieve, but the small British manufacturer has done it yet again. In the year 2021, Caterham has revealed a new entry-level Seven model with a kerb weight of just 440kg – less than a third the weight of a Porsche 718 Boxster S. 

Available in two forms, 170S and the fully stripped 170R, the new Seven finds its basis in the previous entry-level Suzuki-engined 160 model, utilising the same 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces 84bhp and 86lb ft of torque. This equates to a power-to-weight ratio of 170bhp/tonne, hence the new name.

The difference comes from the astonishing 50kg (or over ten percent) weight loss, finding and stripping weight from the suspension, wheels and tyres, and interior. This is then exasperated to the full by the 170R model, which does away with the standard adjustable seats and windscreen, replacing them for composite buckets and air deflectors as found on the more hardcore models further up the range. It also has a carbonfibre dashboard, four-point harnesses and an optional limited slip differential.

The astonishingly low weight figure of just 440kg typically aids almost all aspects of the new 170’s performance and handling, recording a 0-62mph time of 6.9sec and a top speed in excess of 100mph, while being both ULEZ and Euro 6 compliant and producing less CO2 than a modern Toyota Yaris. In addition to the new weight figure, the new Caterham 170’s footprint is also dimensionally smaller than any other Caterham, making it compliant with Japanese Kei car regulations. 

This new, refocused entry point to the range gives the classic Caterham Seven yet another form for drivers to experience, pairing these more performance-oriented elements and setup with the turbocharged engine that has come to form a stalwart amongst its revvy Ford-derived siblings further up the range.

Available from £22,990, the new Seven 170 is also the least expensive new Caterham on sale. With all new cars getting bigger, heavier and more complex, the notion of being able to utilise all the performance from a sports car is growing in prominence – you just might need to skip breakfast to get the absolute best out of this one. 

Recommended

Caterham 420 Cup 2022 review – pure driving pleasure
Caterham 420 Cup – cornering
Caterham 7

Caterham 420 Cup 2022 review – pure driving pleasure

Caterham’s latest concoction is more exciting, invigorating and intense than ever. Long live the mighty Seven
25 May 2022
Revolution A-One 2022 review – £166,800 track day special driven
Revolution A-One
Track cars

Revolution A-One 2022 review – £166,800 track day special driven

The 380bhp Revolution A-One is a shockingly capable track day machine, and we sampled it around Portugal's Portimao circuit
23 Apr 2022
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport 2022 review
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport
Porsche Cayman GT4 coupe

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport 2022 review

Want an eCoty winner that you can compete with on track? Porsche has the answer with this £156k GT4 race car
15 Apr 2022
Radical Rapture 2022 review – 478bhp/ton road racer tested
Radical Rapture 2022 review
Radical

Radical Rapture 2022 review – 478bhp/ton road racer tested

Looking for the ultimate trackday car? The Radical Rapture might be for you...
2 Apr 2022

Most Popular

2022 BMW M3 Touring revealed – the Audi RS4 rival we've been waiting for is here!
FOS M3 Touring
BMW M3 Touring

2022 BMW M3 Touring revealed – the Audi RS4 rival we've been waiting for is here!

Wagon lovers rejoice, the new BMW M3 Touring is here exclusively in xDrive Competition specification
21 Jun 2022
New Porsche 911 GT3 RS spotted undisguised
Porsche 911 GT3 RS 2022 992 – rear quarter
Porsche 911 GT3 RS coupe

New Porsche 911 GT3 RS spotted undisguised

Big aero and bespoke bodywork are on the cards for Porsche’s next 911 GT3 RS
21 Jun 2022
New McLaren P1 Spider revealed
Lanzante P1 Spider – front quarter
McLaren P1

New McLaren P1 Spider revealed

McLaren specialist Lanzante unveils bespoke P1 Spider commission at Goodwood Festival of Speed
23 Jun 2022