Just outside of Denver there is an eclectic selection of twisty mountain roads for which the Caterham seems to be built specifically for. Of course, to access these lovely twisties you’ve got to get on the highway and get out of town. I shift up from Second to Third at about 3,000 rpm and the Caterham positively eats the on-ramp alive. Hill climb events have often been won by lighter cars. I could see why as I snicked up through the close-ratio gearbox onto Sixth Ave. and toward the twisties. The sensation of having my ass inches above the tarmac is an odd one as I approach the first phase of Evergreen Canyon. As I turn in I nearly cross over the side of the road. The steering is that responsive. All you have to do is think about it and the car turns. After getting used to the feel of the driving position and turn-in response I decide to really dig in on a couple of corners. The rear end gets loose, as I expected it might, but controlling the drift is amazingly easy, with the tractable powerband and limited-slip you can throttle steer at almost any speed.
Long story short, the Caterham is everything and more than I thought it would be when I first laid eyes on one with awe on that day in SoHo. And the fact that the importer is right down the street from me is sign from above that I must purchase one.
2011 Caterham 7 Superlight R400
Longitudinal front-mounted, rear-wheel drive
2-liter I4, dohc, 16-valve; dry-sump lubrication w/ external oil reservoir, Ford Motorsport injectors, Roller-barrel throttle body, reprogrammed ECU
7000 CSR 6-speed modified to fit engine bellhousing
Double wishbone (f), DeDion with Watts linkage(r), antiroll bar (r)
Ventilated front discs, four-piston calipers
Wheels and Tires
6.5x15 aluminum Motorsport wheels Avon CR500 195/45
Peak Power: 220 hp @ 7600 rpm
Peak Torque: 150 lb-ft @ 6300 rpm
0-60 mph: 3.8 sec.
Top speed: 140 mph