If the 160’s sole purpose is to permit access to the Seven’s unique and characterful driving experience for as little money as is possible, it must be considered a roaring success.
So much of what a Caterham is and ought to be – chiefly, the raw and unconstructed feeling of driving rather than being driven – is laid bare here for even the most stubborn layman to enjoy.
Our test was not conducted in the dry (certainly the conditions it will predominantly face), but previous experience of the 160 tells us that it can be driven flat out on the road without significantly challenging the adhesive limits of its Suzuki-donated back end.
Were that sentence describing a hatchback, it might translate as inescapably dull, given the limited pace already mentioned, but this is a Seven, meaning that the experience of flat out remains an unplugged handling ballad to the senses.
There is an unfamiliar lightness to the steering and considerable travel to the softly sprung suspension, but there is no loss of clarity or awareness. This is a Seven swaddled in a shroud of usability, not dialled back to the point of being nondescript.