While efforts like the AeroSeven and aborted participation in the new Alpine sports car project grab headlines, Caterham is steadily increasing its presence in the U.S.

The British carmaker announced two new models for the U.S. at Monterey Car Week. Both were developed specifically for the U.S. market, the company says, and will go on sale immediately.

Both the Caterham Seven 480 and Seven 360 use a 2.0-liter Ford Duratec four-cylinder engine. It produces 180 horsepower in Seven 360, enough for a 0 to 62 mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph.

The Seven 480 benefits from a little more power. With 237 hp, it can do 0 to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds, and keep going until it hits 140 mph. However, these cars will likely be bought more for their agile handling and elemental feel than for outright speed.

Caterham Seven 360

Caterham Seven 360

Since January, Caterham models have been sold in the U.S. through Superformance, the kit-car specialist known for its Ford GT40 and Shelby Cobra replicas. Previously, Caterhams were imported by a variety of distributors, including Dyson Racing, which sold the SP/300.R track car here until recently.

Under the new regime, Caterham cars will be shipped to the U.S. as rolling chassis and completed to individual customers' specifications. In addition to the 480 and 360, Superformance hopes to import the more-extreme Seven 620R.

Pricing for the two new models starts at $44,900 for the 360, and $52,900 for the 480.


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