Announcement

Collapse

Seven Wiki Available

Please check out our wiki available at:

http://www.californiacaterhamclub.com/wiki7
See more
See less

CSR review.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • CSR review.

    I had the lucky opportunity to drive a late prototype CSR today for about 5-10 minutes. This is the car that Caterham USA is using as a press car in California. There will be several press reviews out shortly.

    First some basic data I got from Jon about the car I drove.
    Price: 60-something. (You can stop screaming now.)
    Weight: 1315 lbs.
    Engine: Cosworth 260 HP duratec with roller barrel throttle bodies and pretty much the full monty.
    Gearbox: Caterham 6.
    Wheels: 15 inch lightweight rims with CSR500s.
    Interior: Same old, same old.
    Diff: 3.38 LSD.

    The new stuff:
    Frame with 100% more torisional stiffness.
    Inboard front suspension.
    Internal deflector that routes air that has passed the radiator up through a hole in the nose cone.
    Other aerodynamic mods.
    Fully independent, and adjustable, rear suspension.

    The verdict: I want it, if I can afford it.

    This car, while still in every inch a Seven, is much, much more refined than any older version I've ever driven. The jumpiness that the old suspension could exhibit under stress (corner exit on uneven surface for example) is simply gone. The wheels now flow over bumps and irregularities without any shuddering whatsoever front or rear.

    This itself is worth a lot since it is one thing less to think about on the track.

    In my SV you can actually hear the supercharger complain when the wheels try to find their grip while slipping and jumping during curve exits . Nothing like that at all with the CSR, the rear was firmly planted for as long as the tires could keep up.

    The bottom line is a more composed ride where you can focus on where you want to go instead of on how to get there.

    The Cosworth engine installation looks more professional and race-like now with lots of custom designed parts in place. The hobby feel of some of the Zetec and early Duratec installations are now history. This simply looks like its been designed and installed by an OEM.

    The engine is very nice, although very loud. The current ECU is an MBE, whose mapping I don't entirely agree with in certain details, but the final ECU will probably be something a bit more refined. Although torque is available from 3500 RPM the engine wakes up at 5000 RPM and raises hell up to the soft cutoff at 7500 RPM.

    There is no problem with street driveability, but this one will shine on the track.

    I would *not* recommend a T9 gearbox for this setup since it is simply too slow in shitfts to be useful with the lightning fast 1-2-3 upshifts required by the engine.

    The LSD is the same as I have in my SV, so I don't have any comments on it. The engine can easily deliver the torque needed to get the car going in first gear, even with the 3.38 ratio.

    Interestingly enough, Caterham now recommend not using LSD for a street car since the rear is now so firmly nailed to the ground that lmited slip is not necessary. I believe it when I've driven a non LSD car for myself.

    One thing that may pose problems for the people assembling their cars themselves is that the suspension is now so finely tuned, and has so many adjustment points, that it is very hard to get the setup right without professional equipment. Even a competent wheel and tire shop would be hard pressed to get the right amount of *rear* bump steer. You almost need a race shop for this.
    Not a problem in California where race shops are plenty, but those Kentucky blatters may be out of luck getting their car setup right.

    The interior is a bit disapointing, being identical to the existing SV. I haven't seen the latest revision of the new dash, but I think that something needs to be done to the seats and center console to better reflect the changes done to the rest of the car. At 60 grand, a prospective client will probably expect something more either race oriented (race stack, starter button etc), or something more posh.

    I also had a hard time with the pedals. The box is the same size as the SV, but the pedals are closer together, although not as close as in the narrow body Seven. This, in combination with a slow blip response on the throttle, fouled my tow-and-heel attempts, opening me up for some teasing from my peers. Apparently a new,wider, pedal box design will be installed in the production cars. I hope they space the pedals a bit further apart as well. But this is all in the foot of the beholder.

    Overall, though, the car was up to expectations. It is the new generation of the Seven saga, still raw and brutal, but now with an intent and focus that was not there before.

    Thanks to Jon Nelson, Caterham USA, for letting me test the car although a lot was riding on me not crashing it.

    Attached pictures shows various images. Sorry about the rear suspension shots, I couldn't jack the car up to get a better view.

    /Magnus F.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by magnusfeuer; December 14, 2005, 12:54 PM.

  • #2
    Hi there and thanks for the review. I have to wonder if installing some small fins for down force on the front end (must keep it in balance) and upgrade the shocks on the front end would not do the same thing for improvements. The engine sound great as the power to weight is off the scale. I honestly cannot afford the CSR as a toy and I will be purchasing an older model, but those with the fat wallet, it looks promising. I have often wondered about down force and the 7. I have seen one person put fins on their 7, but have not heard how it affected the balance of the car. Thanks Mag for the review.

    Comment


    • #3
      Scott,

      I believe that the main increase in front-end downforce (or rather decrease in up-force) stems from the "lip" at the bottom of the nose cone. Another downforce generator is the air deflector behind the radiator that routes heated air up through the vent on top of the cone. The latter has the nice side effect of keeping heated air out of the engine compartment.

      /Magnus F.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by magnusfeuer
        Scott,

        I believe that the main increase in front-end downforce (or rather decrease in up-force) stems from the "lip" at the bottom of the nose cone. Another downforce generator is the air deflector behind the radiator that routes heated air up through the vent on top of the cone. The latter has the nice side effect of keeping heated air out of the engine compartment.

        /Magnus F.
        The downside is that the heat from the engine is retained in the engine bay and transmission tunnel .

        Word has it that gearboxes have been siezing as a result of the heat and cockpit temperatures are so high as to make the car uncomfortable.

        Comment


        • #5
          The new Automobile magazine (March 06) has a review of the CSR featuring the car that Magnus got to drive. Its a good read, but I had to laugh at the following quote:

          "The turn-signal indicator - a toggle switch on the dash - is a pain to reach."

          A picture of the dash shows the toggle about 4 inches from the steering wheel, exactly as in every Seven I have seen. The author must have very short fingers!

          Stan

          Comment


          • #6
            Did the reveiwer also complain about the lack of stereo, power windows and cup holders?

            And no AC, PS or PB?

            The worst of all is no cigarette lighter!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by soareyes
              The new Automobile magazine (March 06) has a review of the CSR featuring the car that Magnus got to drive. Its a good read, but I had to laugh at the following quote:

              "The turn-signal indicator - a toggle switch on the dash - is a pain to reach."

              A picture of the dash shows the toggle about 4 inches from the steering wheel, exactly as in every Seven I have seen. The author must have very short fingers!

              Stan
              That's really funny. I wonder if the person that made that comment actually drove the car. I think the turn signal toggle is perfectly placed. Just close enough to give it a pinky flick without moving my hands from the wheel.

              Comment


              • #8
                Maybe he's just one of those many drivers who finds any turn signal device to be too inconvenient to use. I see these people every day, unfortunately. :(
                - Sean

                Comment

                Working...
                X