Caterham’s Fantastic Aeroseven Concept Will (Probably) Make it to Production in 2014
Say what you will about Caterham’s F1 team (you won’t hurt their feelings, they have heard it all before), the car division has long been a substantial purveyor of stripped out sports cars for hardcore enthusiasts. The company primarily builds the Caterham 7, itself based on the old Lotus 7 from the 1950s. Every fifth September, Caterham hires 4 designers from Surrey to develop a concept car that won’t go into production, but this year Caterham promises that the Aeroseven concept will actually be manufactured and sold next fall. The yellow and green livery is reminiscent of the Aston Martin CC100 concept from a few months ago, but this one will actually know the joy of being driven.
Caterham tosses away the lightness page in Colin Chapman’s playbook and adds traction control to the Aeroseven, making it the first Caterham to utilize such a system. Also making an appearance is the now-ubiquitous launch control feature. The 2.0L NA four-cylinder Ford Duratec engine is modified by Caterham and develops a healthy 237hp. That engine combined with the Aeroseven’s carbon fiber body rockets to 60mph from standstill in under 4 seconds. The motor drives the rear wheels through a six speed manual transmission only, keeping the complexity thankfully minimal.
As I noted yesterday, every new sports car is mandated by the omniscient market to ship with an infotainment system, and even Caterham isn’t immune to those demands. The seats may be barely padded and probably aren’t comfortable when riding over the mildest of speed bumps, but there’s a touchscreen to keep us engaged, thank God. Blessedly, the system only displays performance info like traction and brake settings, as well as oil reserves and other things like that. There’s no audio system, but who can hear music wafting in from speakers while wearing a helmet anyway?
The Aeroseven is a beautiful concept vehicle, and I legitimately hope that Caterham brings it into production as they say they will. Almost no cars are produced today without a windshield, and touchscreen and TCS notwithstanding, the Aeroseven still stays true to Caterham’s penchant for lightweight sports cars-it just makes the company more modern.
Caterham Aeroseven Gallery
All photos courtesy of Caterham