Caterham Seven 310R
- Mileage: 2,717
- Year: 2016 (66)
- MOT Expiry: August 2023
- Exterior Colour: Red
- Interior Colour: Black
- Top speed: 127
- 0-60mph: 4.9
- BHP: 152
- Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
- Engine Capacity: 1598cc
- Engine Configuration: Inline 4
History of the 310R from the book “The Magnificent 7” by Chris Rees…
The 310 was a car that Caterham never intended to make – but one which turned into an unexpected star. The idea arose because of engineering developments at Caterham Motorsport, which had created an upgrade for the Sigma engine to allow racers to move up to the Supersport category from Tracksport.
This engine upgrade incorporated high-performance camshafts, revised mapping, a new air filter, uprated breathing and new spark plugs. The result was an extra 17bhp, taking the power up to 152bhp.
Caterham started development work on this in early 2016, using a modified 'mule version of a Sigma Ti-VCT-powered car, which was nicknamed Valerie. Simon Lambert. Caterham's Chief Motorsport and Technical Officer, drove 'Valerie' and came back saying, “I own a 420R but I think I may have the wrong car – this is so well balanced.” David Ridley. Caterham's Chief Commercial Officer, drove it too and agreed it was amazing - something akin to a reborn Superlight R300.
Caterham knew it had to offer the engine not simply as a racing upgrade but a road-going one too. The engine could be bought as an aftermarket upgrade for the 270 at a cost of £1,495, while new car buyers were offered a fresh model: the 310. This was launched in August 2016, and was described as “the perfect balance of power and confidence-inspiring handling characteristics.”
David Ridley went further, saying: “It's the best car we've ever made, better than the R300 K-Series. It keeps all the best things about the K-Series engine but with the torque that the 'K' never had. In terms of power/handling balance, it's the perfect spot in the range.”
Simon Lambert added: “It's like an unplanned baby: a wonderful surprise that instantly becomes your favourite. If Caterham were only going to make one car for the rest of its days, this would be it.”
Red paintwork with twin white stripe decals, Adjustable Tillett bucket seats with 4-point Caterham racing harnesses, 13-inch Apollo alloy wheels with Avon ZZS tyres, 152hp 1.6 Ti-VCT Ford Sigma engine, 5-speed Mazda MX-5 manual transmission, Series 3 chassis, Titan limited-slip differential, Lightweight flywheel, Wide track suspension, Bilstein shocks, De Dion rear with Bilstein suspension, Brake pressure adjustment valve, Weather equipment including removable doors and roof (not pictured), Black Pack, Roll bar, Heated windscreen, LED rear lights (unfitted fog and reversing lights included), Aero fuel filler in black, Battery master switch, Removable scuttle upgrade, 620R nose cone badge, Carbon fibre dash, Driver and passenger lowered floors, Leather Momo quick release steering wheel, Carpeted boot, Full extinguisher system, Immobiliser.
Finished in a vibrant red hue akin to Ferrari’s Rosso Scuderia, this super low mileage 310R is sure to draw admiring glances out on the road. Following a recent and comprehensive refresh by the current fastidious owner the car presents in fantastic condition throughout. The eye-catching red paintwork still appears very fresh with a deep and even shine to report across every panel. The black components are also immaculately presented and the contrasting white decals are perfect. There are no scratches or scuffs to note and at the front end there’s barely a stone chip in sight. The chassis is also in excellent order with all the normal the areas of corrosion from stone chips having been inspected and treated as required. To evidence this no underseal has been applied although the new keeper may wish to have this done for longevity. The car additionally boasts a full weather kit including a removable roof and doors.
VIEWINGS WELCOME BY APPOINTMENT ONLY /// ADDITIONAL PHOTOS AND VIDEOS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
The spartan black cockpit remains in great condition and boasts a number of nice options including a pristine carbon fibre dashboard, quick-release Momo steering wheel, racing harnesses, lowered floors, and brake pressure adjustment lever. Every appears in very nice order with only a few light swirl marks on the bases of the glossy seats, and two small holes on the passenger-side of the central tunnel to report. A new heated windscreen has recently been installed although the wiring terminals have not yet been connected owing to dry use only.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The 310R was the result of an engineering discovery by Caterham’s motorsport division, which saw the 1.6-litre Ford Sigma engine being fitted with high-performance camshafts, a lightweight flywheel, and ECU tweaks being carried out for racing use. This extracted an extra 17hp over the standard unit, and was soon discovered to be a viable road engine worthy of its own Caterham model.
Removing the bonnet of this particular 310R reveals an immaculately presented engine bay perfectly in-line with the low mileage of just 2k. The car has always been well maintained with recent maintenance including an LSD oil change, coolant change, brake fluid change, and an oil service. Prior to current ownership the car was used on track and was maintained accordingly by a reputable team however there are no invoices present detailing this work.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The Caterham sits on smart 13-inch Apollo black alloys, all in excellent condition with new wheel nuts and black Caterham centre caps. They are shod in a matching set of Avon ZZS 185/55 R13 tyres with ample tread left. The brakes have also been checked and remain in fine operational condition; the brake fluid has recently been changed and the Delphi pads have plenty of meat left.
First registered in December 2016 this low mileage 310R has seen just 3 owners from new. The car previously saw some track action but was maintained correctly with a no expense spared ethos. It was then placed into storage for a few years until it was acquired by the current meticulous owner who set about to create their dream fast-road spec. This fettling included a full strip down and rebuild with new GRP body panels, a new aluminium bonnet and scuttle, and extensive servicing to ensure it was up to his standards; the already clean underside was left untouched for future owners to be able to appreciate its impressive condition.
Offering pure, unadulterated driving thrills, the Caterham Seven 310R may not be the most marque’s most powerful model, but it is still an impressive road-going machine, boasting incredible performance, an agile chassis, and incredibly direct handling. This example has recently been refreshed into a bespoke road-going specification by its current enthusiast owner, and is now ready to be savoured and threaded down its new keeper’s favourite stretch of B-road or track of choice.
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