Caterham grows Euro Seven range with 2.0-litre 340

Trusty Duratec reworked to fill the void left by no more Sigma engines

By Matt Bird / Monday, 7 November 2022 / Loading comments

A Caterham Seven could be powered by a lawnmower engine and still be a riot to drive, which you’d have to hope bodes well for the EV future. But there will always be some debate about just which engine best suits the package, especially with the 1.6-litre Ford Sigma – seen by many as the best compromise in power and weight – no longer available.

The solution, for Europe and Japan at least, is the introduction of a new 340 model. It uses the 2.0-litre Duratec, albeit in a milder state of tune than previously seen in any Caterham installation. Where we’re used to the engine screaming out more than 200hp in a 420 (or more than 300 when supercharged in a 620), for this new model it produces a more modest 170hp. Still more than enough for fun in something as light as a Seven, that output slotting it between the old 1.6-litre 310 model (or the 275 offered abroad) and the existing 360.

As with the rest of the range, this 340 will be offered in either the road-biased ‘S’ or track focused ‘R’ specs. The former is a little more accommodating – everything being relative in the Caterham world – with a windscreen (!), black leather seats, 14-inch wheels and the road suspension pack. The R ups the ante for the avid circuit goer (and there are plenty of superb tracks in almost every corner of Europe and Japan), with a limited-slip diff, harnesses, and firmer suspension, plus some carbon goodies.

The Seven 340 is described by its maker as ‘the ultimate do everything Caterham’, with CEO Bob Laishley adding: “We are delighted to expand our EU range with the new Seven 340 following sustained demand to fill the gap in our range left by the discontinuation of Seven 275… 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 across Europe’s premium race circuits.” The 340 is available to order now, priced at €45,700 for the S and €47,200 for the R, or £39,800 and £41,100 respectively at current exchange rates. Customers in Japan are advised to speak to their retailer. And customers in the UK who feel like they’re missing are advised by us to check out the PH classifieds, as there are almost 40 Caterhams for sale with the Duratec engine. And once you’ve experienced the torque of a bigger engined Caterham with the thrill of nearly 8,000rpm, it might be hard to accept anything else…

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