Caterham Super Seven 1600 - new model goes old school

British sports car maker Caterham has launched a new retro-inspired model that harks back to the brand’s earliest days.

The Caterham Super Seven 1600 even draws its name from the first Caterham models as it looks to blend the charms of those 1970s cars with modern useability and reliability.

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Starting from £33,495, the Super Seven 1600 follows previous successful retro offerings including the Sprint and Super Sprint models. Unlike those cars from 2016 and 2017, however, the latest model is a permanent addition to the Caterham range.

Available in both standard and the wider SV chassis formats, the Super Seven uses a 1.6-litre Ford-sourced four-cylinder engine matched to a five-speed manual transmission. The 135bhp Sigma unit is the same as that used in the brand’s entry level 270 car and means the 565kg Super Seven 1600 can sprint to 60 mph in just five seconds, with a top speed of 122mph.

While the chassis, engine and road-tuned suspension are all modern affairs, the car’s appearance is a distinct throwback to the past. The new Super Seven features classic flared front wings similar to the early cars, retro-inspired 14-inch alloy wheels, and a spare wheel carrier that harks back to previous generations of touring Sevens.

Continuing the theme are a choice of heritage paint finishes and the retro experience continues in the interior with a wooden-rimmed steering wheel and classically tailored leather upholstery.

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Adding to the retro effect are DCOE throttle body injectors which provide modern fuel injection but look like the Weber 40 carburettors used on rally and race cars in the 1970s.

Caterham CEO, Graham Macdonald, said: “Caterham has always been about individuality and the quality engineering that makes the Seven peerless when it comes to the driving experience.

“Ownership of any specification of Caterham Seven is a mark of distinction and a ticket to driving adventure, but our heritage line of models holds a special place in the hearts of the true brand enthusiasts. Both of our most recent retro-inspired Sevens – the Sprint and Super Sprint – sold out in record time so we know the appeal for these cars is strong.

“We’re excited to introduce the most powerful Super Seven ever built, a reimagining of a true modern icon, delivering exactly what the original was designed to offer – a focus on driving feel and race-inspired upgrades but with some touches of luxury to the finishes.”