The main differences between Westfield and Caterham ‘Sevens’ are the same today as they were 30 years ago.

Where Caterhams have aluminium bodywork, Westies are made from lighter glassfibre-reinforced-plastic panels – just like the ones for which Lotuses were once famous.

Richard Lane

Road tester
I’m not sure how much crossover there is between Westfield and Lotus owners, but £30,000 gets you a nice S2 Exige, with its fixed roof and rewarding dynamics

Where Caterham Sevens tend to use de Dion rear axles, Westfields use independent double-wishbone-style suspension at all four corners.

Meanwhile, Westfield also claims it was the first to enlarge the Seven’s compact cabin for the benefit of modern drivers larger than Colin Chapman’s notoriously diminutive figure.

Underneath the plastic bodywork, the Sport 250 has a tubular steel spaceframe construction into which either fits, or is fitted, a 252bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

Downstream of that, the car features a five-speed manual gearbox that can also be found on a Mazda MX-5 and drives its rear wheels through an open differential as standard – or via a limited-slip differential from ATB as an option.

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With plenty of options attached, our test car weighed in at 670kg, distributed in almost perfect proportion between its axles; and, on paper, that gives it a Porsche 911 GT3-bashing 376bhp per tonne, and enough torque to weight to shade a Lamborghini Aventador S.

When you’re paying for performance credentials like that – and particularly if you’re assembling your car yourself – you’re likely to overlook the Sport 250’s looks, which, it must be noted, aren’t its greatest asset.

That plastic bodywork makes for an uneven paint finish in places, as well as plenty of ugly panel gaps. The bulge in the car’s bonnet, meanwhile, and its high-set wing mirrors and high-rised roll bar cause it to be it notably ungainly and less visually appealing than a Caterham, even from a distance.

It’s a good job, then, that Sport 250 owners are likely to have formed a deeper and more meaningful bond with their cars than you might with so many modern sports cars. Building your own car means literally tailoring it to your own specification – and it’s a spec that you can have with uprated driveline, suspension, wheels, tyres, brakes, seats and interior entirely as you prefer.

Among our test car’s upgrades were Westfield’s limited-slip differential and wide-track wishbones; ‘track day’ adjustable shock absorbers; suspension anti-roll bars at the front and rear; ‘race’-level brake calipers; and 8.0in-wide lightweight wheels with Toyo Proxes track-day tyres.

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