Caterham’s Newest Car Is A Blast From The Past
Photography Courtesy of Caterham Cars
It’s a great day when Caterham announces a new model, but to be honest, I’d been a bit dismayed after a string of hypercar-baiting Sevens—when was its quick, cheap, and efficient Seven 160 going to get an upgrade? You’re looking at it: the 1-of-60 Seven Sprint, designed to give drivers the most 1960s-like driving experience from a brand-new car.
From the outside, it looks like smarter minds than mine decided to pay homage to the car’s history as the Colin Chapman-designed Lotus 7, even though Caterham has never really been about looking back in time in its stewardship of the basic design.
This limited edition Sprint looks retro: Caterham took the color palette from the ’60s, there are polished hubcaps, a wood-rimmed steering wheel, updated dashboard panel, carpeted interior and luggage space—with the car’s performance also stuck in the time period. The company calls it “…good enough to be considered beyond mundane but perfectly capable of a more leisurely application”. In the real world, you’ll be hanging with Subaru BRZs and Mazda MX-5 Miatas—zero-to-60 mph is in less than 7 seconds, thanks to its tiny 80 bhp turbocharged 3-cylinder engine that usually sees duty in Suzuki kei cars.
Still, with modern construction techniques, enough torque from the turbocharged engine, and styling details unique to this car, I suspect it’ll drive like a brand-new car with pace for a brisk drive—all the while looking to others like you’d just paid five figures to faithfully restore an original.
What do you think of the Caterham Seven Sprint?