Westfield has been developing its own, distinct appearance ever since litigation forced it to. There’s only so much you can do with a two-seat roadster that follows the same mechanical theme of a Caterham, though, so although you wouldn’t a Sport Turbo for a Seven, distinct similarities of theme still exist.
What has changed on the Westfield is the purity of line and form that a Caterham retains. The Sport Turbo looks less lithe and agile and less classical than a Seven, even though the underlying take is similar. It’s a bit like listening to a song with a sampled backing track and new lyrics. The same but different, in other words, and in this case (to many observers’ eyes) slightly less satisfying to behold than the original.
The hardware follows a similar theme. Caterham experimented with a turbocharged Vauxhall engine in the 1990s, but keeping it sufficiently cool proved difficult. Today, while endeavouring to meet emissions regulations while developing sufficient power, Westfield has thought the idea worth a look and has deposited a Vauxhall Corsa VXR motor beneath the Sport Turbo’s bonnet, where it develops precisely the same power and torque as in the VXR Nürburgring edition. It retains the same ECU and the engine is, in theory, serviceable by any Vauxhall dealer. It drives the back wheels through a five-speed Mazda MX-5 gearbox and limited-slip differential.
The chassis is a steel spaceframe, like most of these cars have, while suspension is by double wishbones all round, with adjustable dampers that are set up primarily for road use; Westfield expects Sport Turbo owners to only do the occasional track day. There is an unassisted steering rack (the slower of two available ones was fitted to our test car), and there are no driver aids. The Sport Turbo was homologated before last November, when it became a legal requirement for such models to be equipped with ABS and traction control.