Every model in the Caterham range traces its roots to the Lotus Seven introduced in 1957, but some take the retro treatment a step further than others. None embrace heritage more than the new Super Seven 1600.
The company explained it designed the Super Seven 1600 to “evoke the glamour, the color, and the joy of motoring in the 1970s” without the drawbacks of the era’s technology. It certainly looks like it was made 50 years ago, and we’re told it sounds like it, but you won’t need to change the ignition points on the side of the road. Power comes from a Ford-built 1.6-liter four-cylinder tuned to deliver 135 horsepower and 122 pound-feet of torque. It’s fitted with a pair of Jenvey-sourced throttle bodies that look just like a pair of Weber 40 carburetors.
135 horsepower doesn’t sound like much, not when you can buy a Toyota Camry with more than 300 horses under the hood, but keep in mind the Super Seven 1600 tips the scale at 1,245 pounds. To add context, the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata weighs 2,341 pounds. Caterham quotes a brisk 5-second sprint from 0 to 60 mph and a 122-mph top speed. The five-speed manual transmission channels the engine’s power to the rear wheels; we’d expect nothing else from a Seven.
The company installed flared front fenders reminiscent of the ones it fitted to cars it made during the 1970s, 14-inch alloy wheels, a wood-rimmed steering wheel, and leather upholstery. There are several period-correct paint colors to choose from, and buyers can select a wide or a narrow body called SV and S3, respectively.
Caterham’s Super Seven 1600 is on sale now in England and priced at £33,495, a sum that represents about $41,500, and the company gives customers the option to receive it as a kit and build it themselves, Lego-style. It’s a permanent, regular-production addition to the line-up, so there’s no need to challenge another enthusiast to a bloody duel for a build slot. Caterham told Autoblog the Super Seven 1600 is coming to the United States, where it will be offered as a kit or as a rolling chassis, but pricing information hasn’t been announced yet.