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Caterham Seven 485 powertrain unveiled

Caterham Group’s specialist engineering consultancy, Caterham Technology and Innovation (CTI), has unleashed its first full production project with the arrival of the Caterham Seven 485 powertrain.
By developing its high-performance, 240ps engine, CTI has created the most powerful version of the Seven ever available outside of the UK. The new specification delivers its peak power at 8,500rpm, making it one of the world’s highest revving EU6-compliant engines and it also boasts a power output of 121ps-per-liter.
The advanced powertrain was originally conceived to achieve EU5 compliance, but has exceeded the project targets by achieving EU6c compliance directly at the production launch, making it the highest-output EU6c.
Paul Birch, CTI’s head of powertrain and electronics, said: “The quest for performance was a huge challenge when faced with demanding homologation regulations and short timescales. The engine development work and simulation activities were done in parallel, which allowed us to minimize timescales, but meant one had to keep pace with the others at all times.”
The 2-liter Ford Duratec engine powering Caterham’s premium Seven models was re-developed from top to bottom, resulting in numerous mechanical and software alterations.
“All of the work carried out required significant design and safety analysis as part of the process, but was made possible by the fact we have the ability to control our own electronics.
“We wanted to retain the individual roller barrel throttles, despite being rare in production engines. They are a signature of high-performance Caterham engines, so we incorporated electronic actuation to enable emissions compliance and the dynamic response required by a Caterham sports car.”
Compression ratio and camshaft profiles were all carefully revised too, along with the exhaust system, which was completely redesigned and lightened by 13kg to maximize performance. Aesthetically designed to give the Seven-side exit, rather than being channeled underneath the car, the exhaust meets the demanding EU noise standards.
The 485 is the first Seven to feature a ‘Sport’ mode which, when selected, provides the engine with sharper driving characteristics, while enabling peak performance delivery.

19 June 2013


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