Caterham’s been clever enough to uprate the Seven Sprint’s suspension for this car without adding grip. The Supersprint uses the same 14in steel wheels and 155-section Avon tyres as the Seven 160 and its handling can be even more lively and engrossing as the bottom-rung Caterham’s is.
The Supersprint’s hold on a dry road is gently tenacious and its body control has been improved just enough to make it turn in with exciting keenness and to feel nicely agile and composed at most road speeds. But there’s still no more adhesiveness here than is strictly necessary, and there’s a supremely delicate kind of adjustability on offer that is guaranteed to keep you giggling, corner by corner.
Down tough B-roads and over testing surfaces, the Supersprint’s suspension begins to show just a little bit of crudity. That live axle stumbles somewhat in response to bigger vertical inputs and can make the body fuss and fidget where it ought to be more hunkered down and under control. Through faster bends, it also seems to take the car’s body longer to settle on its outside rear wheel than other Sevens need. Only a fleeting instant, but one long enough to notice - and to take a little bit of confidence away from every corner entry.
Should I buy one?
Well, have you? Were you towards the front of that Goodwood queue? If you were, I reckon you’re likely to have been at least as much in love with what the Supersprint is as what it might be like to drive – and there’s no denying how appealing this car is in the metal. Designed and appointed with genuine care and finished to a higher standard than almost any comparable car I can think of, the Supersprint is a lovely object just to admire.
For that reason, and given that most will be worth a healthy premium as nearly new cars, I don’t expect to see many being driven to track days and risked out on circuit. And, in some ways, that’s a shame – but perhaps not a huge one.
After a decent drive, I’d say £29,995 seems like a lot to ask a really keen driver for any Seven with this engine and suspension. On a Seven 160 costing little more than £20k, you’d forgive the quirks of both.
But £30,000 would buy you a nicely equipped, factory-built Seven 310 SV that’d be faster, more capable-handling, more usable and every bit as absorbing to drive as this, I’d wager. A better, more rounded Caterham, in other words – but one nowhere near as special.
Caterham Seven Supersprint
Where Crawley, UK On sale sold out Price £29,995 Engine 3cyl, 660cc, turbocharged petrol; Power 95bhp at 7000rpm Torque 81lb ft at 5600rpm Gearbox 5-spd manual Kerbweight 490kg Top speed 100mph 0-60mph 6.9sec Fuel economy NA CO2 rating NA Rivals Morgan 3 Wheeler, Ariel Atom