The Seven 160. The numbers are meaningless without context; how about the Caterham Seven 160? Now we are getting somewhere. If Caterham were a boxer hitting at the excitement of motoring enthusiasts their newest introduction to the market would be a strong left jab directly at a motorist’s jaw.
It should be too, a small but direct car that puts the roads literally back in the driver’s hands. This is a throw-back to old school British motoring from the 1950s. It is a raw, unedited feeling delivered through this car directly to the driver’s hands that many so-called motoring enthusiasts would NOT be able to stand. Do not get us wrong, there are no plush seats or creature comforts – its just you, the car and the road. There is nothing fancy about this ride. It is a direct extension of the driver to the road and feedback is delivered instantly. The 160 still comes with double wishbone suspension upfront and semi-independent rear axle. The wheels are small, classic and definitely let drivers know they are designed for classic style motoring only.
The car is very unassuming and does not come with much: powered by one of Japan’s finest motorcycle company’s – Suzuki. The engine comes turbocharged which helps deliver a modest 80hp at 7000 RPMs with 79lb-ft of torque at 3400 RPMs. While it doesn’t sound like much, having equal torque levels to match the car’s horsepower does deliver a more engaging motor, which swiftly moves a user through any street or road (minus full on highways). Getting the most out of this engine is the same application as a motorcycle, rev until your close to redline – 7700 RPMs in this case. It should be noted some motoring journalists say the sweet spot is between 3000 – 5500 RPMs.
The size of the engine is a tiny 660cc mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Manual is the operative word. The 160 is not designed for high speed, highway driving but rather scooting along quiet country roads and trips to the local farmers market in neighboring towns. If anything this car, with its k-engine, will help users enjoy a classic style of motoring without endangering themselves or others. From our perspective this is exactly what the car needs to do – deliver a user experience that’s unforgettable, and yet, patient. Why rush things? Sometimes you want to enjoy the long, slow journey of your aimless drive. With that in mind, the Caterham 160 is here to help you achieve your goal. The only downside we see is this car is yet to be slated for USA.
photo credit: Autocar and Caterham