The upward push of the unfashionable Caterham used to be now not going to prevent with the dying of the 1.6-litre Ford Sigma engine. The sepia-toned Sevens have merely been too neatly gained, whether or not in restricted version or sequence manufacturing shape, for the joys to prevent now. So even with simply the 2 fashions recently within the vary – 660cc three-cyl Suzuki turbo or 2.0-litre Ford Duratec – the Tremendous Seven continues in earnest, now introduced as a 600 or 2000 variant. The latter is what we are using right here in all its Bourbon glory, and with it the promise of a brand new Seven revel in: the old-school vibe with modern day efficiency. Greater than two times the horsepower of the 600., in different phrases.
Even for the ones now not totally offered at the styling overhaul – the flared entrance wings are usual, the colour-matched wheels not obligatory – it’s exhausting to not smile at a Tremendous 2000. In a global of automobiles designed to seem like powerlifting Transformers, the small-wheeled, narrow-bodied silhouette of a Seven is fascinating. Lots of the main points are nice, together with the badges, Moto-Lita wheel and wonderful leather-based used within, although a couple of really feel much less a hit. From the place PH sits, the ‘wooden’ sprint trim actually isn’t really nice, and visual spare wheels must be reserved just for 4x4s. You’d quite be observed stranded with a puncture than lugging that round. Suffice it to mention those who favored earlier efforts (and it sort of feels like there have been masses) will probably be enthused by way of the 2000; the ones people preferring Sevens with quick-release Momos and Detonator Yellow paint may nonetheless be a little undecided. However the selection is sweet to have.
What’s maximum without a doubt other to another classically styled Seven is the newfound gusto; the two.0-litre would possibly not gurgle just like the throttle-bodied Sigma or parp alongside within the turbo triple taste, however heck is it rapid. And an average-sounding Caterham continues to be sensible by way of any usual, too, the 2000 taking at the bark of an previous F2 rally automobile because the tacho approaches its amber area. If the three-cylinder automobiles inspire the usage of the torque, the grown-up model desires each final rev; the 360 this automobile is in response to makes height energy at 7,300rpm and most torque (of simply 143lb toes) at 6,100rpm. Possibly because of only a few miles, this one didn’t really feel reasonably as feral as 2.0-litre Caterhams can, nevertheless it unquestionably rewards a motive force for holding the equipment low and the revs prime. Which, with an engine this pressing and a five-speed gearbox this easiest, is a excitement to oblige. And simply as a sports activities automobile celebrating the previous must be.
Moreover, peering out to look the ones flared fairings over the wheels, grabbing that stunning little wheel and observing the revs climb on a Smiths dial is an excessively delightful approach to spend a sunny afternoon. In fact, it’s a extensively acquainted Seven revel in, if simply that little bit other. The leather-based at the seats and the transmission tunnel is actually reasonably great, which is a flip up for the books. In some automobiles you’ll contrive a grin or a sense of a laugh for the reason that spec or the badge has satisfied you it’s a excellent; in a Tremendous 2000 you’re smiling totally involuntarily as a result of petrol-based leisure doesn’t come anymore original.
It isn’t easiest, thoughts. The place you’re satisfied to bimble in the ones lower-powered automobiles, the depth of two.0-litre Caterhams is very best served with a extra competitive chassis music. The 2000, with its highway suspension and Avon ZT7 tyres, by no means reasonably delivers the chew and precision that makes one thing like a 360R – with the sports activities suspension and Avon ZZS rubber – so wholly compelling. That is all relative, in fact, as a result of by way of another measure the Tremendous 2000 is an completely engrossing sports activities automobile: brilliant, alive and so gloriously clear. To this present day not anything can educate understeer, oversteer, wheelspin and brake really feel like a Seven, and it stays a wonderful revel in. However the feeling of a powertrain and chassis rather at odds with every different does nag at you.
Now, Caterhams being Caterhams, there can be scope to additional optimise a Tremendous 2000, even past the respectable choices record. Developing one thing that appears like an additional from The Prisoner however may stay just about the rest truthful on a monitor day would have a undeniable unconventional attraction. Downside is that might get jolly pricey; as a base style, the Tremendous 2000 is a considerable £8k costlier than the 360 with the similar energy. You’ll want to have a excellent pass at the configurator (we do that so that you don’t need to), including the R pack, some great paint, upgraded seats, higher brakes, the Momo brief launch, a heater and a windscreen, focused on lower than the £39,990 a Tremendous 2000 begins at. And that’s reasonably exhausting to argue with.
Which isn’t to brush aside the speculation of a heritage-inspired Seven – now not one bit. The good fortune up up to now has already proved their validity. Fairly it feels that the extra comfy, leather-lined remit of the style merely fits much less energy and ferocity. Moreover, as soon as the £40k threshold has been breached, the innate back-to-basics appeal of a Seven turns into tougher to reconcile with the asking worth. There’s most effective such a lot embellishment a basically reasonably elementary bundle can settle for ahead of it looks as if some huge cash for now not a lot automobile.
That sounds harsh when it shouldn’t – your correspondent loved this Seven greater than many others automobiles this 12 months with loads extra horsepower. Nevertheless it unequivocally proved that the stunning Tremendous 1600 used to be the best exponent of this manner, completely balancing obtainable efficiency with the Revival racer vibe. Which makes it all of the extra galling that they’re now not on sale. If that is the type of Seven you need, grabbing a frivolously used 1600 feels one of the best ways to do it – skipping the queue within the procedure. The 2000 is an intriguing idea, however in the end it appears like engine and chassis are higher matched in different Sevens.
SPECIFICATION | CATERHAM SEVEN SUPER 2000
Engine: 1,999cc 4-cylTransmission: 5-speed handbook, rear-wheel power Energy (hp): 183@7,300rpm Torque (lb toes):143@6,100rpm 0-60mph: 4.8sec Most sensible pace: 130mph Weight: 560kg MPG: N/A CO2: N/A Worth: from £39,990