BBC Autos

Caterham's heart transplant

Suzuki-powered Caterham Seven (Caterham Cars, via Newspress)

Suzuki-powered Caterham Seven (Caterham Cars, via Newspress)

Caterham has announced its next Seven will be powered by the smallest engine the company has ever used.

Yes, folks, the all-new entry-level Seven will be powered by a 660cc Suzuki engine, featuring just three cylinders and one turbo. You read that right: a turbocharged three-pot engine with considerably less than a litre capacity.

Caterham says this tiny engine will be matched to an equally tiny Suzuki five-speed gearbox, sitting on a completely re-engineered Seven chassis featuring "major revisions to the suspension layout". We've not been given any clue as to power, weight or performance, but the entry-level Roadsport , with its 125bhp 1.6-litre four-pot, hits 60mph in just 5.9s.

The reason for all this tiny-ness is to make the new Seven the lightest and most efficient Caterham... in the world. Caterham CEO Graham Macdonald said: "It is not engine size that matters, it is the grin factor that is our barometer and we believe we have got the formula for our new entry-level vehicle just right.

"Our intention for this car is to offer the joy of the Seven in distilled form, so the new entry-level car is lighter, cheaper, more economical and more accessible than ever," he added.

Ah yes, cheaper. The new Seven will be revealed later this year, with prices starting from under £17,000, making it the cheapest Caterham you will be able to buy, £5k less than the 125bhp Roadsport.

This story originally appeared on TopGear.com.