Car Priest

Caterham Seven 165: Less Power, More Fun

Caterham Seven 165: Less Power, More Fun

Caterham Seven 165: Less Power, More Fun
September 11
14:39 2013

Colin Chapman, the legendary automotive engineer would be happy to see the new Caterham Seven 165 presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The car is the latest iteration of his original design, and fully reflects Chapman’s car building philosophy: “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”.

Caterham is known for building barely street legal cars based on Chapman’s original Lotus 7 design. None of these cars has extremely powerful engines, but the Caterham Seven 165 is probably the weakest of them all. Its engine comes from Suzuki’s miniature cars also known as Kei car. With 660 cc and a turbocharger, it is good for 80 hp.

This doesn’t seem much even for a small city car, but Caterham Seven 165 is very light and is fitted with curiously skinny tires. There is a good reason for that: thanks to these tires, the Caterham Seven 165 looses traction easily, so it is the most playful and easy-to-handle car ever. It is intended for those who want to learn to drive a race car without paying a small fortune for a full-sized, powerful beast.

Nobody drove the Caterham Seven 165 yet, but those non-grippy tires probably make the car loose traction in a gradual, easy-to-control fashion, so beginners have plenty of opportunity for corrections. More experienced drivers will also love its responsiveness. Because the chassis is extremely low weight, even the small engine is able to light up the rear tires.

The Caterham Seven 165 bears a price tag of €25,000 / £17,000. This is not much compared to the price of a track-capable racing car. Those who are interested in purchasing one will need to wait until January next year. Until then, Caterham enthusiasts and wannabe racing drivers can spend their time browsing the net and looking at the hundreds of used Lotus 7 replicas on sale, fitted with various engines.

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