The AeroSeven gets futuristic new look
British sports car maker Caterham has given its classic two-seater roadster a futuristic new look.
It’s unveiled a prototype — the AeroSeven — which promises to be the start of an exciting line-up of new vehicles.
Production versions will be built at the firm’s factory in Dartford, Kent, ready for launch next year — with many being made for export.
The AeroSeven draws heavily on F1 team technology and will be the first Caterham to be fitted with traction control
Queens Park Rangers F.C. owner Tony Fernandes and his business partner Kamarudin Meranun bought Caterham in March 2011 and expanded it to include Formula 1 and GP2 racing teams.
The AeroSeven signals its ambitions to expand the range beyond the two-seater lightweight pocket rocket.
For instance, there’ll be an all new sports car, being developed in conjunction with Renault and due for release in early 2016.
The AeroSeven draws heavily on F1 team technology and will be the first Caterham to be fitted with traction control.
The carbon-fibre-bodied car will accelerate from rest to 62 in less than four seconds powered by a 237 bhp, two-litre, four-cylinder Ford Duratec engine developed and tweaked by Caterham for its recently launched Seven 485.
It has a six-speed manual gearbox and is packed with raceinspired features. Beside fully variable traction and launch control, Caterham is looking to incorporate an ABS system developed by Bosch for racing cars.
A dashboard graphical unit displays information such as engine and road speed, gear selection, traction and brake settings, fuel and oil levels — all in 3D.
The Lotus Seven in Sixties cult classic The Prisoner
Caterham managing director Graham Macdonald says: ‘Over the coming years, we will be expanding our range of sports cars to meet the differing needs and desires of potential customers — from the lifestylebuyer to the ultimate thrill-seeker.’
The current Caterham Seven is based on the original Lotus Seven, which featured in the opening titles of the cult Sixties spy series The Prisoner.
Caterham has been building the Seven since 1973, when the original owner, Graham Nearn, acquired the rights to the model from Lotus boss Colin Chapman.
It’s been continually developed, but has never deviated from Chapman’s original philosophy of ‘adding lightness’ and placing the driving experience at the heart of the engineering process.
The current UK range of Sevens stretches from the Roadsport 125 at £19,995 to the flagship Superlight R500, at £42,495.
Now children can get behind the wheel of a Land Rover, as the car manufacturer has developed a new 4×4 driving programme for youngsters called ‘Start Off-Road’.
It allows 11 to 17-year-olds to drive a Range Rover Evoque to learn off-road driving.
A spokesman says: ‘Participants experience driving techniques including basics such as steering, braking and reversing, as well as more advanced skills such as climbing and descending hills, crossing ditches and ridges, negotiating ruts, wet grass and mud, and even crossing water.’
Each Evoque is fitted with dual controls for safety, as well as an automatic gearbox, and a team of instructors are on hand. David Saunders, general manager of Land Rover Experience says: ‘Not only is it a fun day out, it also teaches an invaluable skill set to youngsters before they can even obtain a licence. It helps instil confidence, gives them a head start and should help make for proficient driving in the future.’
Pilot courses are being run at four locations between now and November: Chavenage House, Glos, West London Shooting School, Middx, Duncombe Park, N. Yorks; Rockingham Castle, Leics and Ragley Hall, Warwicks. For more details go to startoff-road.com
Going under the hammer for charity is a year’s use of Nissan’s award-winning all-electric Leaf hatchback. It is the star lot at an auction, held as part of next month’s London Press Club Ball.
The winning bidder will also have a dedicated charging point installed at their home, and business if desired. This will enable them to recharge the car fully in four hours.
Under the hammer: Nissan’s award-winning all-electric Leaf hatchback. The winning bidder will also have a dedicated charging point installed at their home, and business if desired
The Sunderland-built Leaf costs from £25,000 new. Nissan is the main automotive sponsor of the ball on October 10 in the Great Hall of the Royal Courts of Justice, London.
Newsreader Kate Silverton will host this highlight of the media social calendar, attended by chief executives, editors, journalists, TV presenters and programme-makers from the major national newspapers, broadcasters and online media companies.
Broadcaster Nick Ferrari will wield the gavel former X Factor contestant Ella Henderson is among the acts booked.
Proceeds from the ball and auction will go to the Journalists’ Charity. Details at: thepressball.com
Do you still have your old Matchbox toy cars? Well hang onto them, as they could be collectors’ items. Matchbox celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. It was launched in 1953, a year after designer Jack Odell created the first tiny car for his daughter so she could take it to her school.
It was a school rule that pupils were only allowed bring in objects that would fit inside a matchbox. When classmates started clamouring for their own matchbox cars, Mr Odell started the firm.
Since then more than 3 billion Matchbox cars covering 12,000 different models have been produced. Bumper to bumper they would encircle the Earth at the equator more than six times. Matchbox’s first owner was the die-cast company Lesney.
Now it is owned by Mattel, which has released a 60th anniversary collection of 24 historic models, including an Austin Mini Cooper from the ‘golden age’ of Matchbox cars in the Sixtiess, a Routemaster double-decker bus and a Massey Harris tractor from the Fifties.
And always remember — they’re worth a great deal more if you keep the box!