Crazy Concept: The Caterham AeroSeven

By Michael Lockhart

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Crazy Concept: The Caterham AeroSeven:

Caterham, the British sports car manufacturer of F1 racing fame, unveiled their stunning new AeroSeven Concept at this year’s SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.

Developed to embody the brand’s forward-thinking innovations in product engineering and style, the AeroSeven is based on the company’s highly acclaimed Seven CSR platform and features a full carbon fiber body. Very much in the same vein as other windshieldless racing-minded sports cars, the AeroSeven drives along the same lines as Aston’s new CC100 Concept that we saw at Pebble this year, as well as the outrageous Benz McLaren Stirling Moss that was shopped a few years ago.

{“pbembedwidget”:“gallery”,“id”:“14933”,“size”:“large”,“alignment”:“left”} BODY TALK

Body-wise, Caterham has made its most significant changes, especially when compared to their other track-minded lines, with a much more mass market–friendly approach that comes off as striking, bold and creative. Pure aesthetics aside, the new body shape improves the drag coefficient, all the while imparting a greater degree of handling. Safety tech has also been added with a new rollover structure that doubles as an aerodynamic catalyst—not to mention making the two-seat cockpit look ridiculously fierce. UNDER THE HOOD

Under the hood, this open chassis is powered by a capable two-liter 237-horsepower Ford Duratec engine (which also powers the flagship Caterham Seven 485) that delivers its top output at an incredible 8,500 rpm, making it one of the highest-revving EU6 engines in the world. (EU6 pertains to accepted European emissions regulations.) To put this power in perspective, the AeroSeven can easily hit 0-60 mph in just four seconds. The six-speed manual transmission, along with track and launch control, will give you complete power over the rear-wheel drive.

It’s no surprise that being the niche consumer sibling to an F1 team has engineering benefits, such as fully independent front and rear suspension, including an F1-style inboard (pushrod) system on the former. The track technology is front and center inside the cockpit as well, with the proprietary fully active graphical display unit amalgamating all display and instrumentation in a high-res, centrally mounted unit, giving the driver complete and immediate access to engine and vehicle speed, gear selection, traction controls, brake modes and fluid levels, all presented in real-time rendered 3D.

Assuming owners of this vehicle will be making the most of the AeroSeven on the circuit, the “Race” mode is your standard setting, allowing daredevils to take advantage of the steering wheel–mounted “Flash-to-Pass” and “Pit Lane Speed Limiter” options. For those who just want to take this gorgeous specimen into town and show it off, the “Road” mode can be engaged by the press of a button, altering the engine’s rev levels to reduce peak power and keeping the neighbors happy.

Caterham has told us that stringent American regulations might be difficult to meet when the AeroSeven goes into production in some form or another, but we’re hoping to see this green demon as a future candidate for Playboy Car of the Year if it ever makes it stateside.

For more information visit www.caterhamcars.com.


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