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Thread: Advice needed: Best Caterham model for road and occasional track days.

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    13

    Smile

    (sorry for the late reply, was on a trip)

    Thanks for the extensive answers!

    John B: thanks

    coffee break: I generally agree lower HP is easier to play around with, I've generally selected my cars for weight and handling first (I also had an Elise at some point). That said, power can be addictive, and the 420 can provide both, unlike most regular cars.

    Vovchandr: Hah, that's a nice way to look at it. I can afford the 420 premium, so maybe that is indeed the safer bet.

    KitKat: Another good reason for a bit of extra power. I noticed the same effect in the Elise on track to some extend (win in the corners, lose on the straights).

    Andy69: Totally agree in general. Though I'm not entirely new to the track, I've done a ton of track days in my Elise, Cayman, 350z, Fiesta ST etc.

    pksurveyor: looks like the 6-speed is not an option anymore? I know I probably don't need the weather stuff, but it is not particularly expensive and makes the car a bit more versatile. Also would be slightly more ok having it parked overnight with its top on (which may happen like once a year).

    Croc:
    - The track that I'll spend most of my time on is Sears Point Raceway (formerly Infineon) which is a fairly technical track with less/shorter straights compared to some other tracks. Still, a bit of power won't hurt, and I will occasionally bring it to more HP oriented tracks (Laguna Seca and Thunderhill).
    - Definitely getting a lowered floor. Custom seat would be an option, but maybe once I have more experience with the car. Likely will start with the leather if that's lowest.
    - Will ask about the captive nut, that sounds handy.
    - Sounds like in my case the 5-speed will be fine. The track I go to most is 3rd gear for most of it in most cars I've tried (though all were 6-speed I think), but the 420 will be faster than anything I've driven before, so will spend more in 4th. Will have to experiment.
    - Will likely spend little to no time in the rain, but the flexibility might be nice. Yes, definitely getting the doors, thanks.
    - 7 front 9 back.. the standard for 420R in the configurator are "15" Orcus anthracite alloy with Avon ZZS" which I am guessing are 6 front 8 back?
    - Yes, getting the quick release.
    - Thanks SO MUCH for pointing out that the Evo article was using ZZRs, that would explain their comments. I can now order a 420 with ZZS with piece of mind

    Colorado7er:
    - No doubt the S would do fine too. I did read some reviews that describe the R as giving even sharper feedback, which is kind of what I am getting this kind of car for. I don't mind it being a bit rougher on the road as a consequence.
    - Upgrading power later sounds like a relatively expensive proposition? Unlike many, I am not that mechanically inclined, so buying a config that "has it all" and is ready for whatever without additional wrenching is attractive to me
    - Ah, 5-speed it is then
    - So why is the CSR not available anymore then? If it really is a more advanced 7, I'd imagine it is the one to get.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    The CSR is available by special order. Its chassis is built by Arch which makes it more expensive than the regular production line brazed chassis. I suspect that is why it is special order only.

    ....and for a completely gratuitous track video of a 2018 Caterham 420R with 5 speed...

    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - engine and dry sump install time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (restoration - engine rebuild)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (will repaint to original color in 2020)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (fettling after long period of storage)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    As Josh (Colorado7er) says in post #9, and as Croc notes, the CSR is available per special order. Josh is also a new Caterham dealer(Rocky Mountain Caterham), though he and his family are long time, hard-core Lotus and Caterham fans. So if you are intrigued, give him a shout. I think he even has a CSR kit in stock, so no waiting.

    The CSR is quite a car, as Croc, who owns one can attest. It has the SV's larger dimensions but also has a very modern race car suspension (when compared to the standard Caterham). Also, as noted by Josh, there is a sequential 6 sp still available for Caterhams (at around $7.5K I think). Faster shifts, and no missed shifts, seems like a huge plus to me (if $ were no object).

    Confused? Come to NJMP in 10 days for our annual se7ens event and see and ride in all iterations of se7en, Caterham included. Tbox will be there in his super cool Birkin and, as the US Birkin dealer, he can answer questions and build you your dream se7en.
    Kitcat:AKA, Sir Spinsalot
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car
    '19 Honda Civic, Type-R

  4. #14
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    Feb 2012
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    Roswell GA
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    The Best Caterham? One you can get your butt in and got for a blat!
    Life happens while you're making other plans
    1995 Caterham Crossflow RHD
    1990 Miata
    2013 Mini (Her's)

  5. #15
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    Apr 2013
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    Croc: Thanks for the video! Wow, that looks very high speed compared to my local track, with some super long straights, and some scary near blind sweepers. Only ever driven Spa in game
    For comparison here's Sears Point (in an Elise): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KidIx54NO1I
    No caterham videos besides this SP with a very unhelpful perspective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlXITo63tpQ

    KitKat: from reading about it, it does sound like the CSR might be overkill for me, I'm sure a regular 420R is already plenty of car for me, as I don't intend to do any serious "racing". Sequential gearbox would be nice for the track though. As for actually getting the 7, I'd prefer to work with someone as local as possible. NJMP is also a bit far out for me

    coffee break: damn right.. I'm finally about to make that a reality

  6. #16
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    Aardappel:

    FWIW: my 95 hp X-Flow Caterham tended to lap about as fast as stock Elises. We did it very differently(I was always much slower on the straights, faster everywhere else). My 160 hp Zetec Caterham typcially runs almost as fast as the high hp Eliges, and way faster than the Elises. The 420R is a nice bump up the Caterham food chain from my car so should be faster still. I run 2 seconds slower than the R400's at NJMP and the 420R is more powerful than they are.

    What none of these comparisons can convey is how different the se7en experience is than in a "real" car, even the Elise. It is so visceral, noise, wind, you are almost sitting on the ground, the steering is super reactive, brakes stop you now(!), cornering is amazing. You are so much more insulated/isolated in even a car like the Elise. Your vid and Croc's hairy vid of driving on the knife's edge down the Armco tunnel that is Spa, capture some of the difference.

    Take your time to get used to it, you really have to recalibrate what a car can do and where the limits are.
    Last edited by Kitcat; 06-19-2019 at 11:15 AM.
    Kitcat:AKA, Sir Spinsalot
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car
    '19 Honda Civic, Type-R

  7. #17
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    Apr 2013
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    Kitcat: yes, that experience is exactly why I am getting one. I've driven 3 different ones so far, and every time it feels like every second is fun. Especially the steering. I feel like I have the whole car in my hands, directly.

    I can only imagine what it will be like once I get more used to it, on road and track.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Austria Salzburg
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    The new CSRs with Avon ZZS or ZZR do they have a differnt wingstay compared to the CSRs with CR500 or is the larger diameter of the ZZS/R taken care of with a different wing? thks Hanns Per

  9. #19
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    Hi Hanns Per

    New CSRs come with CR500s as they have since the very beginning. There is no special stay for fitting the ZZR or ZZS unless an individual owner has modified one themselves.


    Avon CR500 remain available in the sizes to suit a CR500.

    I went another way by fitting 13 inch wheels then fitting the appropriate sized Avon ZZR rubber. Plenty of clearance that way as rolling diameter was slightly smaller than the standard factory 15 inch wheels with standard fitment Avon CR500.

    Cheers
    Mike
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - engine and dry sump install time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (restoration - engine rebuild)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (will repaint to original color in 2020)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (fettling after long period of storage)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic

  10. #20
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    Edit: CR500s remain available to fit a CSR


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - engine and dry sump install time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (restoration - engine rebuild)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (will repaint to original color in 2020)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (fettling after long period of storage)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic

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