When discussing the design of a Caterham Seven, you might as well be discussing the design of a kitchen sink. It has a bowl-shaped bit in the middle with a hole in the bottom and a tap above it because it works that way.
Similarly, when Colin Chapman created the ‘Lotus Austin’ by fitting special bodywork and suspension to an Austin Seven, tuning its engine to the nth degree and giving his competitors no chance of keeping up with him, he created a template that he’d follow with various Lotuses, which were eventually to get bespoke chassis.
The template was the same as now: an engine in the front driving the rear wheels, with occupants seated either side of the transmission and everything else packaged as minimally as possible around all of that.
Eventually, Chapman devolved himself of the Lotus Seven and sold the rights to dealer turned Caterham Cars founder Graham Nearn. While Chapman chased bigger dreams, the Seven has been content to continue, continually updated and revised, in a more modest reality that includes people getting bigger.
So the Seven was first offered with a long cockpit option, and later – as tested here – with the SV wider body option.