Caterham Seven Range Welcomes 340 Variant With Ford Duratec Power

Once Colin Chapman decided to can the Lotus Seven, the peeps at Caterham swooped in to acquire the rights to the lightweight sports car. They have been improving the breed for nearly half a century, and they continue to improve it because of the Seven’s world-class handling.
2023 Caterham Seven 340 9 photos
Photo: Caterham
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Recently added to the Japanese and European markets, the Seven 340 sits alongside the Seven 170. The latter takes its mojo from a 660-cc Suzuki turbocharged engine, and it currently retails at €32,595 (make that $32,600 at current exchange rates). The Seven 340 is a tad costlier at €45,700 ($45,720) for the S model or €47,200 ($47,220) for the R specification.

The beating heart of the 340 comes in the guise of a naturally-aspirated mill from the Ford Motor Company. The 2.0-liter Duratec replaces the Sigma with more ponies. Caterham estimates 170 horsepower at 7,250 revolutions per minute and 128 pound-foot (174 Nm) of torque at 6,500 revolutions per minute, along with CO2 emissions of 148 grams per kilometer on average and a top speed of 130 miles per hour (209 kph).

Although emissions have grown 2 percent over the 1.6-liter Sigma in the Seven 275, the Seven 340 still complies with Euro 6 regulations. It may not seem like nearly enough power and torque, but on the other hand, bear in mind this fellow tips the scales at just over 500 kilos (1,102 pounds).

The 340 in Seven 340 references the power-to-weight ratio, which is “designed to entertain without becoming overly aggressive or fatiguing.” These said, what are the differences between the S and R models?

For the S, prospective customers are presented with a five-speed manual transmission, road-oriented suspension, 14-inch alloys, a full windscreen, hood and side screens, as well as leather seats. The R package levels up to a limited-slip diff, sport suspension, 15-inch alloys, four-point harnesses for both occupants, a carbon-fiber dashboard, and a composite aeroscreen.

“Thanks to Seven 340 being available with an S and R pack, it really is the do-everything Caterham,” said Caterham big kahuna Bob Laishley. “It’s a car that lends itself perfectly to those long road trips and Sunday drives, while the R version is more than capable of setting blistering lap times.”

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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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