Car group tests

Caterham Seven 270 - best sports cars

In the purist sense, a sports car could be defined as one stripped down to the barest essentials. Meaning a prodigious power-to-weight ratio, somewhere for the driver to sit, and a chassis that sticks to the road like glue in corners.

The super-spartan Caterham Seven provides all of that, and even a bit more – although it takes a really hardy enthusiast to use one for more than weekend blasts and the occasional Le Mans trip. That said, Britain seems to breed hardy souls, and Caterham makes lots of them very happy!

We like the 270 R model, which uses a 135bhp, 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine to crack off 0-60mph in 5.0 seconds, and has an incredibly responsive chassis set-up with super sharp steering and snappy six-speed manual box. Driven competently on the average British B road, a Seven such as this is almost impossible to catch.

Unfortunately the R’s no-frills approach extends to the weather protection. There isn’t any… So you may prefer the S with its windscreen(!), heater, roof and clip-on doors, which will still feel wickedly quick to most drivers.

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