Caterham Seven - Best track day cars

The Caterham Seven allows you to enjoy the simple pleasures of driving.

The Caterham Seven allows you to enjoy the simple pleasures of driving. The 160 isn’t fast, but its near-telepathic connection with the road makes it a joy to drive. It’s a perfect car to learn about track driving in and it’s cheap to run every day as well.

The Caterham 7 160 is, in theory, an odd hybrid between a classic 7 and Suzuki Jimny. Caterham takes the Japanese market SUV's tiny three-cylinder 660cc engine, adds a new sump and ECU to bump power from 64bhp to 80bhp, and slots it into a 7 chassis. The Jimny also donates its five-speed gearbox, live rear axle and rear drum brakes.

Caterham Seven 160 review

Although 80bhp doesn't sound like much, the 160 only weighs 490kg, giving a power to weight ratio of 163bhp per tonne. The clutch pedal is light and the stubby gearstick snicks around its gate with ease. The steering is totally unassisted, but it's not heavy, and the rack is fast, giving very quick, faithful response from the tiny wheel that gets heavier as you build speed.

Once the turbo kicks in, the 160 pulls surprisingly hard. Although small, the engine does its best work between 3,400rpm, when the maximum 107Nm of torque is delivered, and around 6,000rpm. Here, it thrums away pleasantly on in third and fourth gears, with the turbo giving a characterful chirp as you back off. Above this, you do get more power, but the racket the engine makes takes the edge off the fun.

Best track day cars 2019

  1. Porsche 911 GT3 RS
  2. Caterham Seven 160
  3. Ferrari 488 Pista
  4. McLaren Senna
  5. Lamborghini Huracan Performante
  6. McLaren 570S Track Pack
  7. Porsche Cayman GTS
  8. Honda Civic Type R 
  9. Hyundai i30 N
  10. Ariel Atom
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