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Caterham 420 Cup

2 years ago

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Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder


19 August 2022

It had sat outside for days, ugly and pointless. Wearing a white climbing frame as some kind of fascinator, slathered in stickers telling the world it had Bilstein dampers, Avon tyres and former BRM sponsor Motul engine oil, it seemed covered in things I neither needed nor wanted, yet bereft of those I did.

Like a windscreen, or any kind of hood. There was a sort of plastic condom in a bag you could drape over its nether regions, whose sole disadvantage was that, when fitted, the car was undriveable.

And I wondered, for more than a moment, whether the 420 Cup marked the moment Caterham jumped the shark. I have said before in this place and others that road cars usually make for pretty unremarkable track cars. What I should perhaps have made more clear more often is that the only thing worse than a road car on track, is a track car on the road. Which is what, essentially, this is.

The UK Championship race car to be precise, which means a 2-litre Ford engine developing 210bhp without the need for a supercharger, just like you get in the standard 420. The difference here is the Cup model comes with the same SADEV six-speed sequential gearbox as the race car, and a unique suspension specification comprising Eibach springs with Bilstein dampers, each adjustable by hand through a range of ten clicks.

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