Bespoke 420R: The Fast Fleet Welcomes the Caterham Seven Evo Edition

As evo enters its 25th year, Caterham Cars has reached its 50th and, to mark the occasion, we’ve partnered with Caterham to create our very own Seven. Building on what is one of our all-time favourite sports car platforms, the bespoke build blends elements of Caterham’s track-centric models with road-biased niceties, making driving thrills more accessible than ever.

Taking the excellent 420R as a base, including its standard dry-sump engine, the evo Edition is built around Caterham’s narrow S3 chassis, with a lowered floor for an improved seating position and centre of gravity. The firm’s ‘Trackday’ rollcage has also been equipped, ensuring safety while allowing easier access than its more restrictive Sport and Race options.

Being a 420R, it’s powered by a dry-sump naturally aspirated 2-litre Ford Duratec four-cylinder with a lightened flywheel. A rear-exit ‘Trackday’ exhaust system is also fitted to ensure compliance with noise limits (rather than the side-exit pipe fitted to many Sevens). While performance figures are an estimate given the unique spec, 210bhp and 150lb ft of torque are enough for a 3.8sec 0-60mph time in the regular 420R, with top speed at 136mph. If our Brands Hatch evo Trackday shakedown was anything to go by, it’s certainly not lacking performance.

Unlike the hardcore sequential gearbox-equipped Caterham 620R, the evo Edition retains the more typical five-speed H-pattern manual, driving a limited-slip differential. Sports suspension with a wider track than standard is equipped too, with 10-stage adjustable Bilstein-sourced dampers lifted from the 420 Cup. While our time with the Cup proved just how capable these dampers are on track, the fine adjustment also opens up road and wet weather performance, with a genuinely limo-like smooth ride in their softer settings and the ability to eke out more grip on slippery surfaces.

A set of 13-inch Apollo wheels are wrapped in sticky Avon ZZS tyres as part of the R package, with the wheelrims painted to match the signature Signal Green body. Behind those wheels are uprated front brakes, powered by an upgraded master cylinder to ensure consistent performance.

The cabin is a familiar place but we’ve worked with Caterham to add a number of unique touches throughout. Its removable Momo wheel is optioned with suede, with four-point harnesses, a shift light and exterior battery master switch part of the spec.

Unique to the evo Edition, though, are road-biased comfort seats upholstered in leather with houndstooth fabric centre sections and embroidered evo branding. The Alcantara dash and transmission tunnel have been carried across from the range-topping 620, with the nose cone and grille from the Cup and fuel tank from the track-only racer, giving it a central filling port.

The Seven evo Edition will join the Fast Fleet as a regular, with plenty of exciting outings lined up for its time with us. If you’d like a closer look at the car, it will make an appearance at our upcoming evo Trackdays at Goodwood Motor Circuit and Bedford Autodrome. Better still, Caterham will even build you one of your own…

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