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Caterham reveals flagship 620R for Goodwood

Though British track specialist Caterham is determined to branch out into the world of production cars, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots and is still developing models based on the legendary Lotus Seven chassis.

Its latest is the 2013 620R, which replaces Caterham’s previous R500 range-topper. The 620R makes its official debut on Thursday at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed, which runs from July 11-14 on the grounds of Goodwood House in the U.K.

Powering the car is a supercharged version of Ford’s 2.0-litre Duratec four-cylinder engine. Caterham fans will recall that this is the same engine featured in the previous R400 and R500 models but in its latest guise the engine has been tuned to deliver 232 kW and 296 Nm of torque.

This makes the 620R the most powerful road-going Caterham to date, though it doesn’t come close to matching the 372 kW of Caterham’s track-only RS Levante of 2008.

Still, we doubt there will be few complaining about the 620R’s lack of power. With the car likely to tip the scales at under 550 kg (a final figure is yet to be announced), 232 kW should ensure it reaches 100 km/h in just 2.79 seconds.

Unique features of the 620R include its nosecone, which has been reshaped to optimize airflow around the car and for cooling purposes. It also gets carbon fiber interior panels, a Q/R race steering wheel and 13-inch wheels shod with Avon ZZR tires.

In case you’re interested, pricing is set at 49,995 British pounds (approximately $81,000 in straight conversion to Aussie dollars, but expect an extra whack if it arrives here). If this is a bit steep for you, Caterham is also working on an entry-level Seven that is expected to cost roughly one third the price of the 620R. In addition to this, Caterham is also working on a less hardcore 620S model equipped with many of the 620R’s goodies but the same engine.

On hand to drive the new 620R at its launch this Thursday will be Caterham’s Formula One reserve driver Charles Pic. A display model will also be on Caterham’s stand throughout the Goodwood Festival of Speed.