A lightweight sports car manufacturer has opened its doors to a new multimillion-pound factory near the Dartford Crossing – and you can even go and visit to see where the magic happens.

This new facility in Dartford X industrial park marks a significant leap forward for the sports car company Caterham, known for its iconic Seven models.

Spanning 54,000 square feet, the factory comes after an investment from VT Holdings, one of Japan's largest retailer groups.

This financial boost will allow Caterham to increase its production capacity by 50 per cent, aiming to produce 750 units annually.

The factory's location is in close proximity to the existing site so that the staffed responsible for hand-assembling each car are kept on.

After a nine-month transformation, the factory is now equipped with the latest automotive technology.

It boasts advanced paint booths, an engine shop, a parts warehouse, and 33 individual bays where each car is "meticulously built" from start to finish.

The company claims that this new layout is designed to enhance operational efficiency and streamline the production process.

Caterham's legacy dates back to 1957 when Colin Chapman created the original two-seater sports car with the philosophy of "Simplify, then add lightness."

This mantra continues to drive the company's design and manufacturing ethos.

Today, Caterham offers eight variants of the Seven, with power ranging from 125bhp to 310bhp, each model adhering to the principle of reducing weight to enhance performance.

Enthusiasts can now book a tour of the new factory, offering a unique behind-the-scenes look at the assembly process of the Seven.

The costs £30 per person and there can be up to 16 in a group.

The tours promise an immersive experience, allowing visitors to follow the car's journey from a bare chassis to the final product.

Alongside the tours, Caterham plans to host various customer events and vehicle handovers, enhancing the overall ownership experience.

Tours begin at 9.30am daily, with the full factory floor tour running from 10.30am to 12pm.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to see some of Caterham’s most famous cars from television and browse the official merchandise store.

Caterham's new facility aims to be more than manufacturing site but a destination for fans and prospective buyers to engage with the brand.

Mr Kazuho Takahashi, CEO, VT Holdings, said: “We are thrilled to announce the start of operations at the new Caterham factory.

“This modern facility exemplifies VT Holdings' unwavering dedication and support for the iconic British sports car brand, Caterham.

“From this new location, we will continue to take pride in delivering increasingly high-quality vehicles to our customers worldwide.”

Bob Laishley, CEO of Caterham, said: “Moving into our new global headquarters is a significant moment in our brand’s history and will be transformational for the business and the future of the Seven.

“Not only will we be able to increase our production capacity by 50 per cent, but for the first time in our 50-year history the production, engineering, motorsport, and commercial teams will all be housed under one roof. It will make us a more efficient, streamlined business.

“Caterham fans and customers will also be able to see first-hand where our cars are assembled.

“It’s a hugely impressive modern facility and I have no doubt they’ll be blown away by it. I certainly am and I know our staff are thrilled to be operating in such a world-class facility.”