The Caterham 7 is one of those car every gear head would want to have an experience with. Feeling the shifting of the stick, taking pleasure in the sheer power the sports car produces, and enjoying this in an extremely lightweight vehicle is the dream.
The founder of Lotus engineering limited, Colin Chapman, did greatly in putting together this incredible piece of engineering.
For Chapman, making lightweight cars with powerful engines was essential, so he produced the first cars with aluminum body panels and light chassis. Although this sports car was a success, he chose to stop making the series to focus on more upscale sports cars. This led him to sell the rights to the production of the Lotus Seven to Caterham Cars in England.
Following this, Caterham began producing its version of Lotus series 7. They ensured the car remained lightweight, even though they changed many things about it.
You Should Drive A Caterham 7 Series For Its Classic Look And Modern Technology
What makes the Caterham 7 series appealing is its mix of a classic look with modern technology. Its original design goes way back to 1957. There are currently five basic seven models.
The first and the lightest is the Seven 170. With a weight of less than 1102 lbs and a 660 turbocharged Suzuki engine, this sports car can go from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds. It has an output of 85hp, which makes it the least performant seven series sports car and the entry-level of the Caterham seven series.
The second Series 7 vehicle is twice as efficient as the base sports car, improving significantly. It has a Ford Duratec 2.0-liter engine, which generates 180 brake horsepower and reaches 0-60 mph in approximately 3.8 seconds. The Caterham Seven Series 620 is the most potent model. A 2.0-liter Duratec engine, which is naturally aspirated, powers it. This is paired with a six-gear manual transmission like the previous vehicles in the series. Its performance is not for the faint-hearted. With 314hp, this car can move from 0-60 mph in just 2.8 seconds!
All 7s have two seats with a rear-wheel drivetrain.
You might wonder why a little car with teeny horsepower is called a sports car, especially for the Seven 180. Even though these engines are a crucial part of the car, they are not the only part responsible for its ability to deliver. The build of the sports car is also a major part of this.
The Chassis And Framework Of The Caterham 7 Series
The success of the first series seven produced in 1957 was attributed to its chassis. The Caterham 7 series are built using aluminum similar to its Lotus forerunner. This is attached to a steel chassis, making the car’s total weight less than 1,102 lbs.
Therefore, rather than using the engines alone, Caterham combined them with a lightweight chassis to increase its maneuverability and performance. Its lightweight design provides a power-to-weight ratio of 180 horsepower per tonne for the entry-level model. This is more than you would get in the most recent Golf GTI.
The Caterham 7 Series Has Quite A Sophisticated Exterior
Other than its chassis, other parts of the car contribute little or no significance to its weight. Caterham made sure they did everything they could to make sure the car maintained its lightweight. This implies that comfort and safety come secondary in these series. The car lacks “standard equipment” such as a fixed roof, ABS, and airbags. The heater is also an optional pack. Its lack of these elements, combined with its small cabin, limits its usefulness for daily activities. When you enter a Caterham seven series, the only thing that matters is the unadulterated delight that racing brings.
The seven series includes a small boot for storage but disappears when the retractable roof is in place. Additionally, it has no internal storage, not even a glove box. Who races with a lot of loads anyway?
Its dashboard still has only the necessary gauges and no modern buttons, just as originally designed. An infotainment system is non-existent in a car that doesn’t even get a stereo!
Its incredibly low seats help to achieve a low center of gravity, making it more stable during turns and curves. These low seats also give you that thrilling feeling when you rev this car to its highest, even though its crampy interior might leave you frustrated.
The Caterham 7 Series: Conclusion
The Caterham seven series may not be very similar to modern sports cars, but its blend of the old and the new makes it’s a fun toy to own.
Enthusiasts also criticize its exposed exhaust system in addition to its outdated suspension.
A newly manufactured Caterham seven series might cost anywhere from $24,990 and $54,990 depending on its model. Sevens maintain their principles admirably. You might lose little to nothing at all if you hold one for a full year.