After experiencing the lower end of the horsepower spectrum, it’s time to dive into the other end. Here we will serve nothing but raw, and we mean raw, horsepower.
The next number called is 620R. Again, meaningless without attaching the word Caterham, but this time it comes with a punch. Feast your eyes on the Caterham 620R – supposedly the hard-core of the hard-core Sevens. Choosing to drive this machine takes a minute to look in the mirror and convince yourself that you are man enough to drive the beast. Why is it a beast? Because the driver pilots a version of Caterham that has more horsepower and torque than what is necessary for this weight of car. Then the driver will be faced with the element as a wide open windscreen (or lack thereof) with full carbon seats pair with racing harnesses exposes the driver to all of what the road has to offer. Sitting behind the wheel is much like getting a ring with a heavyweight boxer when you only weight 150 pounds. The driver will see the same momo steering wheel as found on the 160. To make things easier since these seats are pure racing, the steering wheel is removable and there are plenty of switches to help achieve racing greatness. Every switch serves a purpose and can even provide an instant motor start.
Before getting into the car we have to admire the car from the outside. The 620R provides the same look as the traditional Caterham chassis but with a few add-ons. Mainly a few enhancements on the front and bonnet in the form of upgraded aero package and cooling management. Just beyond the signature seven a carbon fiber dive plane is fixed, assuring the high rate of air is pushing the front to the road for more grip. Then the bonnet has two openings to suck in cool air for both engine cooling and air supply to feed the supercharged motor. The car delivers all its fun through a supercharged 2.0 liter Ford Duratec motor.
Whereas the other 160 was unassuming, this 620R is very assuming. It wants to be heard, seen and possibly smelt. The 2.0 liter motor producing a whopping 310 horsepower and 219 lb-ft of torque. The closest thing I can think of is a maybe 350Z that weighs next to nothing. If someone thinks they can manage this car at the track, at least it comes with a piece of mind. Yes, this engine comes with a dry-sump oil system and a sequential gearbox. I’m pretty sure that should read – race engine.
The power is all delivered through a limited slip diff and de-dion rear suspension – not like the 160 which has the live axle. The front comes with an uprated coilover system and stickier tires. Pretty much all you need to go fast and not think about anything else. The only thing to keep in mind when driving, no matter the weather – rain or shine – there’s no turning back. The wind, the noise, and the elements will really test how manly you are for this car. Oh and the good news is, this car is available for purchase here in the states. Visit Caterham for more details.
Here is Autocar having a go at this beast of a machine
Then there’s Kamui Kobayashi showing drivers how its done