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Caterham Turns the Seven Into a Kei Car, Gives It Tiny 660cc Engine

Subsequent to Caterham’s acquisition by VT Holdings, a Japanese importer of the Seven for the last 12 years, the British automaker has made its sports car smaller, lighter, and less powerful. Named the Seven 170, it now complies with the kei car regulations in the Land of the Rising Sun, and is on sale in the UK.
Caterham Seven 170 13 photos
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We’ll talk about the price later, but first, we have to mention that the Seven 170 is 105 mm (4.1 in) narrower than “anything else withing its current range,” according to Caterham. It is also the smallest Seven yet, and depending on the specified options, it tips the scales at just over 440 kg (970 lbs).

Powering it is a turbocharged 660cc engine made by Suzuki, which produces 84 hp (85 ps / 63 kW) and 116 Nm (86 lb-ft) of torque. It is hooked up to a five-speed manual transmission, allowing the car to hit 62 mph (100 kph) in 6.9 seconds, and a top speed in excess of 100 mph (161 kph). Compliant with the Euro 6 emissions standard, it has a CO2 number of 109 g/km, making it “greener than some hybrid vehicles, including the Toyota Yaris 1.5,” Caterham claims.

So, what does the 170 suffix stand for? That would be its power-to-weight ratio, because it has over 170 bhp-per-ton. Moreover, the Seven 170 sports a 155-section tire and live rear axle suspension, meaning that it should still be a fun machine, in theory.

Pricing starts at £22,990 ($31,365) in the UK, in kit form, and it can be had at £199.99 ($273) per month, with a £6,312.30 ($8,612) deposit. It is offered in two distinctive variants, the 170S and 170R, each one with exclusive features.

The Seven 170S targets more laid-back drivers, with its road suspension pack, 14-inch silver alloy wheels, windscreen and weather gear, black leather seats, and Momo steering wheel. The 170R, a version that was not previously available for the Seven 160, has a sport suspension pack, limited-slip differential, 14-inch black alloys, racing seats with four-point harnesses, and carbon fiber dashboard.

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