Caterham Seven CSR Owners Urged to Inspect the Rear Suspension Damper Mounting Brackets

The CSR is the most extensive redesign of the Seven ever since Caterham started producing the lightweight sports car back in the 1970s. Even though it's pretty simple in terms of design, the track-oriented Seven CSR does have a problem.
Caterham Seven 485 CSR and clevis block 8 photos
Photo: Caterham / edited
Caterham Seven CSR clevis blockCaterham Seven 485 CSRCaterham Seven 485 CSRCaterham Seven 485 CSRCaterham Seven 485 CSRCaterham Seven 485 CSRCaterham Seven 485 CSR
According to the British automaker, every single CSR produced between 2005 and 2023 is potentially affected. Rather than issuing a recall, Caterham is urging owners to inspect the rear suspension damper mounting brackets. Also known as clevis block, this component secures the lower half of the spring/damper to the uprights.

Owners are urged to jack up the rear end to inspect for signs of cracking in the aluminum in the areas where the lugs are located. The lugs have to be inspected as well for extra peace of mind. Caterham further notes that surface marring/scratching is completely normal.

The British automaker failed to mention how many cars are potentially affected. Given that CSRs are more expensive than the standard range, chances are a few thousand at best. Lest we forget, Caterham shifts fewer than 800 cars every year.

Owned by Japanese importer VT Holdings since 2021, the company is currently in the middle of moving its Kennet Road headquarters to a larger facility in Dartford. To be completed by year's end, the new base will improve production capacity from approximately 500 to 750 cars per year.

The only CSR listed by the online configurator today is the Seven 485 CSR. Not available in the United Kingdom or United States of America, this model is powered by a Duratec four-cylinder lump. The 2.0-liter Ford powerplant belts out 237 ps at 8,500 revolutions per minute and 206 Nm of torque at 6,300 revolutions per minute. Said figures convert to 234 horsepower and 152 pound-feet.

Connected to a five-speed manual transmission, the naturally-aspirated mill can propel the Seven 485 CSR to 100 kilometers per hour (make that 62 miles per hour) in 3.9 seconds. Top speed? That'd be 225 kph (140 mph), thank you very much!

Gifted with a staggered wheel setup (7 inches wide up front and 9 inches wide out back), the CSR boasts Avon ZT7 tires, a MOMO steering wheel, leather upholstery for the seats, inboard front suspension, and black vinyl for the trunk cover. Because it's a track-oriented sports car that sits close to the ground, the aforementioned 2.0-liter engine features a dry-sump lubrication system.

On par with the Lamborghini Huracan in terms of power-to-weight ratio, the Seven 485 CSR further sweetens the deal with aerofoil wishbones, an aero filler cap in either black or silver, a carbon-fiber dashboard, a heater, and a 12-volt power socket. As for optional extras, the most important of the bunch are the track day rollbar and uprated brake master cylinder.
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 Download: Caterham Seven CSR clevis block inspection guide (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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