Lightweight sports and track day car maker Caterham has been forced to reduce the range of cars it sells to customers in the EU.
Extensive revisions in the wake of the arrival of the WLTP emissions testing rules were only able to save the 275 and 485 from the chop. Previously the EU range had also included the charming steel-wheeled 165 and the 355.
Export sales comprise 60 per cent of Caterham’s business so the WLTP’s impact could have major repercussions on the tiny but proud brand’s profits.
The UK range, however, is unchanged. As a low-volume car maker Caterham is exempt from the WLTP here. UK-based buyers will still have the choice of the Sevens 270, 310, 360, 420 and bonkers supercharged 620.
Caterham’s Chief Motorsport & Technical Officer, Simon Lambert, said:
“The biggest hurdles faced by Caterham during this transition period were time and cost. WLTP’s implementation date was set early on, but with no regulations published we were unable to start work until legislation was finally confirmed with little more than a year to go.”
He continued by praising the company for the strides it made to keep the 275 and 485 available to EU buyers. He added:
“For a small manufacturer, we have done an amazing job given the scale of the task. We have met the same stringent regulations applied to mainstream and volume manufacturers in a congested timeframe, when every man and his dog needed access to the specialist testing facilities.
“It is a true testimony to our resilience and flexibility, and above all, a desire to keep the Seven flourishing overseas.”