Caterham has opened the order books for its latest take on the classic Seven sports car. Powered by a 660cc three-cylinder Suzuki turbo engine with 79bhp, the emphasis with the new Caterham Seven 160 is on handling prowess and driver enjoyment rather than outright power. However, it’s no slouch – thanks to featherweight construction, the 160 can get from 0-60mph in just 6.5 seconds, with a top speed of 100mph.
Prices start at £14,995 in component form, but you’ll need to be nifty with the spanners. Caterham puts in 20 hours of construction and a further 50-70 hours is required by a reasonably capable home mechanic to get the car finished – or it can be fully constructed at the factory for an extra £3000.
The new entry-level Seven is mechanically simple, with a live rear axle and little in the way of fanciful creature comforts – even a 12v charging socket is an optional extra. Steel wheels are standard and the engine is more frequently seen in small Japanese town cars. However, Caterham has tuned it up a little, raising power from 63 to 79bhp while reducing emissions and improving fuel economy.
Those who wish to increase the usability of their Seven 160 can specify such embellishments as carpets and a heater, along with leather seats and a tonneau cover. The Caterham Seven 160 is available to order now, but production won’t begin until January 2014, with deliveries due in Spring.