Caterham Seven Sprint: 60's inspired limited edition launches
The British sports car maker's latest creation celebrates sixty years of the iconic Lotus Seven
Next year marks sixty years since the release of the original Lotus Seven, but Caterham, which has produced the Seven since acquiring the rights in 1973, is eager to kick the celebrations off early with a new limited edition version that's suitably retro.
The throwback car is called the Seven Sprint and it's based on a Seven variant that Lotus designed back in the mid-1960s but never put on sale. Only sixty will be built by the factory and unlike other Caterhams the Seven Sprint won't be available as a kit car.
While the basic shape of the car has remained largely unchanged during nearly sixty years in production, modern Caterhams are noticeably different to their ancestors thanks to fat, grippy tyres wrapped around alloy wheels, tight, hugging wheel arches, vented bonnets, vibrant paint jobs and slick cockpits kitted out with carbon fibre.
The Seven Sprint is a much more delicate looking car. Two large, flared front wings acting as wheel arches immediately catch the eye, but there are smaller bodywork details too. These include retro inspired rear lights, a polished side exit exhaust, classic looking badges and cream coloured steel wheels with chrome hubcaps.
The car comes in six classic colours – Cream, Mellow Yellow, Regency Red, Camberwick Green, Misty Blue and of course British Racing Green.
The cockpit is designed in period style with scarlet leather, an old-fashioned set of instruments and switches on the dashboard, as well as a polished boule-style gear knob and a vintage wood-rimmed steering wheel. Both the cockpit and luggage space are carpeted.
Caterham has even powder-coated the chassis grey to keep the car as in tune with its roots as possible. It's a wonderful tribute act that Top Gear says would look amazing parked alongside other recent retro love-ins such as the Land Rover Defender Heritage edition.
Underneath the evocative styling is a modern Caterham. The Seven Sprint is based on the entry level Caterham 160 and uses the same 660cc Suzuki-sourced three-cylinder turbo engine with just 80bhp.
That's not a lot of power, but it's a very small and light car. It should be capable of 0-62mph in just under seven seconds, with a top speed of 100mph.
If you want to be one of sixty prospective owners, a £27,995 outlay is necessary. That's exactly £11,000 more than the Seven 160 the Sprint is based on, making this both an elusive and expensive little sports car.