There’s nothing that oozes the spirit of British motoring better than the Caterham Seven. The retro styled roadster has always delivered on its promise to give drivers a unique driving experience whether fully assembled or built by hand via kit. With the car’s 60th birthday fast approaching, Caterham has unveiled yet another flavor of Seven for buyers to enjoy.
Dubbed the Seven Sprint, this blast from the past features a model exclusive front grille with chrome slats, cream colored wheels with polished hubcaps, individual taillights, and retro themed Caterham emblems front and rear. Buyers can also choose from five appropriately named colors – Cream, Mellow Yellow, Regency Red, Camberwick Green, British Racing Green, and Misty Blue. The interior of the Seven Sprint also embraces its roots and comes equipped with red upholstery, a wood rimmed steering wheel, and gauges that are similar to the ones equipped to 1960s era models. This is a neat touch, and does a good job highlighting the comfort side of the typically track oriented Seven.
Performance for the Sprint comes from a turbocharged 660cc engine that is sourced from Suzuki and their kei car lineup. While the thought of having only 80 horsepower and 79 lb-ft of torque to play with may seem like a buzz kill at first, Caterham claims that because the Sprint is so light, it can make the dash to 60 mph in a brisk 6.9 seconds. A five speed manual transmission is the sole choice available and it helps send power to the rear wheels.
Buyers looking to buy a Seven Sprint of their own will be pleased to hear that it is currently on sale now with a base MSRP of £27,995 which is equivalent to $37,000. However don’t mistake this for a mass volume model since Caterham is only producing 60 examples a number chosen to reflect its upcoming birthday.
As for eager buyers in the U.S. we will most likely miss out on this one due to safety regulations as well as stricter emissions standards that effectively bar the engine from our shores.
Caterham and its popular line of Lotus Seven derived vehicles have always provided enthusiasts with a unique brand of retro and performance heritage especially when one considers the various iterations that have come and gone over the years. On that end, the company has formally unveiled yet another iteration of the iconic roadster.
Dubbed the 310, power for this model comes from a Ford sourced 1.6 liter naturally aspirated four cylinder engine which makes 155 horsepower. This is a 20 horsepower bump over the outgoing 270, and Caterham claimed that it originally considered adding even more power, but opted not to do so after discovering how well it drove out on the track. Power is routed through a five speed manual gearbox which allows the four cylinder to propel the 310 to 60 mph in just five seconds with the car eventually topping out at 127 mph. Overall, it tips the scales at a featherweight 1,190 lbs thanks to its aluminium body work, as well as a composite windshield.
Befitting its role as the base model in the Caterham range, the 310 can be equipped with two distinct option packages. The first package is the track focused R package which brings goodies such as a limited slip differential, sport tuned suspension, carbon fiber trim elements, four point racing harnesses, and a lighter flywheel. Upgraded brakes are also a part of the package, and should be a welcome addition when the 310 encounters twisty sections of track. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the “S” package which is tailored towards buyers that want to turn the 310 into a livable daily driver. That package brings luxury trimmings such as leather upholstery, a carpeted interior, a heater, and a full windshield.
The Caterham Seven 310 is currently on sale in England with a base price of £21,995 which translates to $29,000. As usual with Caterhams, buyers can save some money by buying the 310 in kit form, and doing the dirty work themselves. There is currently no confirmation on whether the 310 will make the jump across the pond to U.S. showrooms, but considering that it is based on the 270, there is a strong chance that it will eventually replace that model and become the new base model for U.S. customers.