- The 2015 Caterham Seven 360 and 480 lightweight sports cars are available now through the firm's U.S. distributor, Superformance LLC.
- Prices for the Caterham Seven 360 start at $45,400, while the Seven 480 starts at $53,400, both with a $500 destination charge.
- Caterham models are street legal under kit-car regulations, but Superformance will handle final assembly, so buyers don't need to build the cars themselves.
Prices for the Caterham Seven 360 start at $45,400, including a $500 destination fee. The peppier Seven 480 starts at $53,400 with shipping.
Both models are powered by the 2.0-liter Ford Duratec four-cylinder engine. Caterham says the version in the Seven 360 puts out 180 horsepower and results in a 0-62 mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. In the Seven 480 it's tuned to 237 hp for a 0-62 mph time of 3.4 seconds and a maximum speed of 140 mph.
But buyers don't need to build the cars themselves. Superformance has eight retail locations throughout the country where final assembly can be handled.
Cole McGlothlin, vice president of operations for Superformance and Caterham USA, told Edmunds: "Discounts are available if clients order the engine and transmission at the time of purchase."
The discount could save a buyer 50 percent compared to the cost of buying an engine and transmission separately.
A variety of options are available for both the Seven 360 and Seven 480 to suit the intended use and taste of the customer. For example, the interior can be decked out with leather seats and plush carpeting. There are several color choices for the exterior, as well as tops and tonneau covers for weather protection.
For buyers who want more performance, there are power upgrades, trick suspension components and special wheels and tires. And those who want to take their cars on the track can add roll bars, racing seats and even a fire extinguisher.
The Caterham Seven has its roots in the Lotus Seven, which was sold both factory-assembled and as a kit car from 1957-'72. When Lotus ceased production, the rights were bought by Caterham Cars, a former Lotus dealer in the U.K., which has kept it in production ever since. Superformance became the U.S. distributor in January of this year.
Light, fast and fun to drive — although a bit sparse in the areas of interior room and comfort — the Seven, in both Lotus and Caterham iterations, is widely regarded as one of the iconic sports cars of the past century.
Its designer, Lotus founder and race-team chief Colin Chapman, was a major proponent of the "less is more" philosophy, of which the Seven is a crystal-clear example. Intended from the start as a no-frills sports car, its taut suspension and outrageous power-to-weight ratio have combined to deliver staggering performance on both the road and track for more than 50 years.
Edmunds says: The 2015 Caterham Seven 360 and 480 will strike a chord with buyers looking for a great-handling, fun sports car.