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CATERHAM 21 CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > CATERHAM 21

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CATERHAM 21 (1996-) CAR HISTORY

Car review on CATERHAM 21

One guiding principle lay behind Caterham's custody of the 7 legend: you could do anything underneath the car to improve it, but the shape must remain untouched. With the 21, that philosophy was turned upside-down: here was a new model with a chassis based very closely on that of the 7 but with a totally new body. The 21 name indicated the way Caterham was thinking: this was its vision of a car for the 21st century.


The plan to create an all-new Caterham began as an intention to make a mid-engine monocoque sport scar, but that would have been too ambitious. Instead, it was decided to create a new enveloping body over a modified 7 chassis. Journalist and designer lain Robertson was called in to do the styling. For inspiration he turned to the classic racing Lotus XI, and his proposal looked exactly right: curvaceous, taut, and recognizably British.


The interior architecture was adventurous and appealing, featuring an elegantly symmetrical design. The narrow cockpit was inherited from the 7, but the wide sills improved elbow room and leg room significantly. A narrow centre console housed switches and minor dials, the speedo and rev counter (tachometer) being sited directly in front of the driver.


Engineering the 21 posed a whole new set of problems for Caterham: never before had it been forced to deal with hinging doors and boot (trunk) lids, curved glass, sophisticated hoods or trimming the boot. It was getting all these details right that delayed the start of production for two years after the car's first showing in 1994.


The official launch at the October 1994 Birmingham Motor Show was spectacular: no one was expecting the car to be shown in gleamingly silver-polished aluminum. This would be an expensive option on the production 21, and most customers opted for the more viable choice of glassfibre. Prices were naturally higher than the 7, but the 21 was excellent value compared with rivals such as the Lotus Elise and Renault Sport Spider.


The valuable aluminum prototype was loaned to the press for early analysis, and testers were uniformly enthusiastic. This prototype was fitted with a Vauxhall JPE engine and six-speed gearbox — a unique specification, since all production 21s would have Rover K-series 1.6-litre engines or a very special version of the 1.8-litre MGF engine called the VHP (Very High Performance). Thanks to superior aerodynamics, the 2931b (648kg) 21 boasted a much higher top speed and far greater practicality than the 7, while inheriting all of the 7's handling finesse.


With an anticipated production volume of just 200 cars per year, the 21 will always be a rare beast, and its single-minded pursuit of driving pleasure will endear it to future generations of sports car drivers.

CATERHAM 21

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

4-cylinder

CAPACITY

1588 cc

POWER

115-138 bhp

TRANSMISSION

5/6-speed

TOP SPEED

118-131 mph(190-211 km/h)

NUMBER BUILT

Still in production

 

 

 

 

 

 
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CATERHAM 21 CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > CATERHAM 21


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Shopping Mall :CATERHAM 21 Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: CATERHAM 21 Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: CATERHAM 21 Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: CATERHAM 21 Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, Lemon Car Check