7 Classic Review
Caterham 7 is perhaps the entry-level roadster in British automaker's range of machines and this two-seater tub with wheels is for those drivers who are looking for everyday thrill or some road bashing on weekends. The British supercar maker has tied up with Burmans and has started selling this car in India. It is basically a built to order model and the operations is being handled by this company's cars in the country. Only one model is available in the Indian market but the company has provided series of performance packages to quench the thirst of different individuals with different preferences. It bears the price tag of around INR 28 lakhs, it is undoubtedly one of the most tempting lightweight sportscars for these markets. Available in classic version in the Indian market, it comes with 1.4L K-series petrol engine producing 105bhp at 6000rpm and 128Nm of torque at 5000rpm. It is further coupled with five-speed manual transmission gearbox pushing this roadster from 0-62mph (0 to 100kmph) in just 6.50 seconds of time reaching the top speed of 110mph (177kmph). Other versions in this range include 1.6L 115bhp, 1.8L 140bhp and 1.8L X-power drivetrain. Unfortunately transmission does not contain any racing sequential box. According to road test report, this classic series delivers a fair mileage of 8kmpl which is enough for this type of sportscar. It is supported by modest dimensions and steering and is connected in such a way that big supercars can never be. The chassis is communicative and enhanced by lightweight and simplicity. The rear axle is a de Dion type as compared to previous generation versions. The adjustable double wishbone with anti-roll bar can grab the road with ease. The ride is firm and body roll is non-existent due to car's low centre of gravity. For the people with hill climbing passion and track day driving, the classic is an ideal choice to make. Its Classic variant uses skinny Avon tubeless tires 180/60 R14 wrapped around 14inch steel wheels. It is 3340mm in length and 1397mm wider possessing an overall height of 1105mm. There is SV suffix attached to the classic range meaning that it will have larger bodyshell and adding 80mm to the wheelbase and adding 105mm to overall width. The tiny car has a kerb weight of 525kg which can house in two persons comfortably. Some of the prominent features are power windows, power door locks, central locking and leather adorned seats. As hinted by the name itself, the inside of the car is basically ‘classic'. There are flat dials with rack and pinion power steering wheel and generally falls to hand as ‘OK' and of good quality. There are some switches here and there for lights, horn and indicators. Lack of stereo system would be disappointing but you won't be able to hear that on the track, that's for sure. In terms of safety, there are no doors to talk of and no lockable boot and no place for putting your things away securely but engine immobilizer and removable steering wheel can compensate right to some extent. A protecting harness will keep you secure in the roadster but no safety kit to protect you from a crash unless you opt for a higher model. Traction control, Anti-lock braking system and ESP are all absent in the car. There is a small storage compartment available behind the seats but calling it ‘small' is a kind approach. There is very low space at the bottom and seat adjustment is minimal. This series might be a leftover from another era, but it is reassuring to car aficionados that this brilliantly created sports car still has the ability of mixing up with the quickest road cars plying today. The engineering is superb and the performance on the twisty curvy roads is phenomenal at this price. But as judged by the standards of ‘normal' cars, it does look a little expensive for something being offered in basic style. The brainchild of Lotus legend Colin Chapman is considered a true value for money. And while other supercars model prices keep on depreciating enormously, this car holds its price tag very well with used models losing only a few thousand dollars in the initial years of handling.
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