From Lotus Seven to Caterham Seven - the lightweight legend turns 60 - Caterham Seven Sprint

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

Caterham Seven Sprint

And finally, the Sprint. If you weren’t familiar with this car you could be forgiven for thinking we’ve gone completely full circle and returned to a proper 1960s Lotus Seven. But we haven’t; the Sprint is Caterham’s newest car and was, confusingly, launched only last year to celebrate this year’s 60th anniversary. 

The Sprint is based on the back-to-basics 160 and uses the same 80bhp 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine. The only real differences are superficial and include: 60s style paint colours, a red leather interior, the long body-mounted fenders, hubcaps, some retro badges and grey suspension arms. The most significant change is the steering wheel. Gone is the tiny Caterham standard issue 260mm diameter Momo item, in its place is a larger 330mm wood-rimmed Moto Lita one. That might not sound like a huge difference but when space is at a premium, as it is in a Seven, it makes the interior feel too cramped.

> Read our full review of the Caterham Seven Sprint

The Sprint feels more like the original Series 1 Seven than any other car here, mostly because the engine is a bit gruff, industrial and unwilling to rev. But that makes them odd in this company, as so much of what makes a Seven so engaging is a frantic engine. Whether it produces huge power or makes an evocative noise, truly great Sevens have a memorable motor.

Like every single Seven, the Sprint is demanding to drive quickly. You don’t have to worry about easily locking the rear axle as you change down, avoiding minor bumps or managing snappy oversteer. No, you have to try to conserve and maintain speed because of its modest power, but the attention required is what makes it a typical Seven.

Recommended

BMW M 50th Anniversary special previewed for the first time
BMW M 50th
BMW M4 coupe

BMW M 50th Anniversary special previewed for the first time

Think BMW M’s M3 Touring, M2 and XM were enough to celebrate the big 50? Think again…
27 Jun 2022
Porsche 911 Sport Classic debuts with Turbo power and a manual ‘box
Porsche 911 Sport Classic
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 Sport Classic debuts with Turbo power and a manual ‘box

The new 911 Sport Classic references Porsche in the 1960s, with a unique mix of powertrain and body
24 Jun 2022
New Porsche 911 GT3 RS spotted undisguised
Porsche 911 GT3 RS 2022 992 – rear quarter
Porsche 911 GT3 RS coupe

New Porsche 911 GT3 RS spotted undisguised

Big aero and bespoke bodywork are on the cards for Porsche’s next 911 GT3 RS
21 Jun 2022
Nissan Skyline GT-R R34: review
Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 - front quarter
Nissan Skyline coupe

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34: review

The last of the original Skylines and the first to be officially imported into the UK, there is no disputing the R34 GT-R’s icon status.
20 Jun 2022

Most Popular

Novitec Ferrari SF90 upgraded to 1093bhp
Ferrari SF90 Novitec – 1
Ferrari SF90 Stradale

Novitec Ferrari SF90 upgraded to 1093bhp

German tuner to take Ferrari’s complex hybridised supercar up and over 1000bhp
4 Jul 2022
Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo 2022 review – a sports utility vehicle done right
Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo – front cornering
Porsche Taycan

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo 2022 review – a sports utility vehicle done right

A convincing play at being the ultimate everyday driver of the future. It’s heavy and doesn’t have enough range, but there’s lots here to like
2 Jul 2022
A car wash loophole in an MGF – evo Archive
Car wash loophole in an MGF
MG

A car wash loophole in an MGF – evo Archive

How the drop-tops Grand Challenge got some of the evo team in a lather
21 Jun 2022