Caterham’s Seven is an iconic superlight roadster, known for its classic style, high performance and lack of roof!
The British manufacturer bought the rights to the original Lotus Seven design when it ended production in 1972 and has produced the fun sports cars, which are available as kit cars or factory-built, ever since.
The immediately recognisable Seven design is comprised of two very-low down bucket seats in an open cockpit. The long bonnet houses a number of powertrains, which put out varying power from the car’s rear wheels.
With the 60th anniversary of the Seven fast approaching, Caterham has just released a new retro model – the Seven Sprint. With a design that harks back to the sixties, the Seven Sprint is the answer to every Seven purist’s prayers.
However, if you’re looking for a more modern or affordable Seven, we have put together a list of suitable options.
The smart choice for saving money: Seven 160
The Seven 160 is the entry-level model into the Caterham range. Boasting a turbocharged 660cc Suzuki three-cylinder engine, it may only produce 80bhp but this is plentiful to propel the light car to 60mph in less than seven seconds, and all the way to 100mph.
The standard 160 starts from £15,995, and is geared towards the more relaxed road driver, rather than a racer-in-the-making. As such, standard specification includes a road suspension package, live rear axle, 14-inch silver steel wheels with ZT5 tyres, and a composite aeroscreen.
Creature comforts in the cockpit are minimal, with Black cloth seats and a Motolita steering wheel both featuring as standard.
For an extra £3,000, buyers can upgrade to the S pack, which brings the benefit of a fully-carpeted interior, full windscreen, hood and side screens, heater, momo steering wheel and black leather seats.
The smart choice for value: Seven 360
For drivers looking to spend just a little bit more, the £23,995 Seven 360 is the Caterham to choose.
Sat in the middle of the range, both in performance and price-wise, it is powered by a 2.0-litre Ford Duratec engine, which produces 180bhp. A top speed of 130mph and 0-60 acceleration in 4.8seconds is achievable.
As with the 160, the 360 boasts black cloth seats and a Motolita steering wheel.
The aluminium painted body with composite panels can be fitted to either the standard 'S3' or wide-bodied 'SV' chassis. While costing more, the latter provides increased interior and luggage space, making it more suited to taller drivers.
Fourteen-inch classic alloy wheels with 185/60 tyres complete the 360.
The smart choice for technophiles: Seven 620R
Coveting a Caterham, but aren’t ready to give up your modern car comforts just yet?
The Seven 620R may not match a standard hatch in terms of creature comfort, but with the option of heated and padded carbon fibre seats, you can expect a much smoother ride than the base spec Seven 160.
Powered by a supercharged 2.0-litre Ford Duratec, which produces 310bhp, the £49,995 model can reach 60mph in a blistering 2.79 seconds, continuing to power all the way to 155mph.
Extensive engine and chassis technology comes as standard on the high performance model, including a six-speed sequential gearbox, limited slip differential, wide-track front wishbones and high performance dampeners.
Carbon fibre panels feature all over the 620R, such as the front and rear wings, interior and even the dashboard!
Meanwhile, the driver-focused cockpit features a four-point race harnesses, a push button start and a Momo quick-release steering wheel.
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.
September 9, 2016