From Lotus Seven to Caterham Seven - the lightweight legend turns 60 - Caterham Seven 620S

We drive a range of Sevens, from an early Series 1 Lotus to modern Caterhams

Caterham Seven 620S

Up to this point the only Seven that has felt underpowered and slow is the Series 1. They’ve all been fast and the throttle has a really significant effect over the way the car behaves. As such, any sort of forced induction hardly seems necessary. But that didn’t stop Caterham making this, a supercharged 310bhp Seven called the 620S.

With 516bhp/ton there’s no surprise the 620S is astonishingly fast. But the sensation of speed is no greater than the R500, really. What the 620S is, though, is snappier. It wants to spin the back wheels more readily than any of the other cars and the rear end wants to slide sideways aggressively.

> Read our full review of the Caterham Seven 620S

The limited amount of lock that’s typical of a Caterham steering rack, usually not a problem as oversteer is small, neat and easily controllable in most Sevens, becomes an issue in the tetchy 620S. Winding on enough corrective steering to compensate for the amount the engine agitates the rear can, sometimes, be physically impossible.

There’s not doubt that the 620S is exciting and very demanding to drive quickly, but without masses more performance than the R500, and without being as manageable as the naturally aspirated Sevens, it just isn’t as approachable or as enjoyable. This 620S is built around Caterham’s wide S5 chassis which, as well as the huge amount of power, might have something to do with its less than subtle handling traits. The wide chassis does give the impression of more room inside, but you still bang your elbows and knees if you drive with any verve.

Recommended

BAC and Viritech team up in development of hydrogen sports car powertrains
BAC and Viritech – 5
Sports cars

BAC and Viritech team up in development of hydrogen sports car powertrains

Specialist hydrogen powertrain company to partner with BAC to create carbon-neutral sports car powertrains
26 Jan 2022
Morgan Plus Four LM62 limited edition celebrates anniversary of Le Mans triumph
Morgan Plus Four LM62 – front
Morgan Plus 4

Morgan Plus Four LM62 limited edition celebrates anniversary of Le Mans triumph

Special Edition Morgan to celebrate 60 years since its class win at Le Mans
18 Jan 2022
2022 BMW M2 spied looking meaner than ever
BMW M2 2022 – 3
BMW M2

2022 BMW M2 spied looking meaner than ever

BMW’s new M2 has shed more camouflage revealing its super wide body and stance
13 Jan 2022
MAT and Jannarelly announce engineering and manufacturing collaboration
Jannarelly D-1 – leadership
Sports cars

MAT and Jannarelly announce engineering and manufacturing collaboration

Low-production sports car manufacturers to join forces in Design-1 production
13 Jan 2022

Most Popular

Car pictures of the week
Maserati MC20
Maserati MC20 coupe

Car pictures of the week

In this week’s car pictures from issue 294, we look at the highlights from Jethro Bovingdon’s drive in the highly anticipated Maserati MC20
21 Jan 2022
Hot Aston Martin DBX to be the ‘most powerful luxury SUV’
Aston Martin DBX S
Aston Martin DBX

Hot Aston Martin DBX to be the ‘most powerful luxury SUV’

Aston’s high performance DBX to be revealed on Feb 1 and pack a whole lot more power
24 Jan 2022
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 2022 review – pairing the magnificent 992 GT3 experience to a more subtle audience
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring eCoty – front tracking
Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 2022 review – pairing the magnificent 992 GT3 experience to a more subtle audience

There are few, if any, more rewarding, engaging or intense experiences for those in pursuit of the thrill of driving
7 Jan 2022