The Seven wasn’t a first car to be identified as the Lotus. That would be the Mark ...
The Seven wasn’t a first car to be identified as the Lotus. That would be the Mark I of 1948. And when all is said and done, the Seven is a raucous little rascal that embodies Colin Chapman’s minimalist mantra.
Simplify, then add lightness, is the quote that, with all due respect, reflects exactly what the Seven is about. Introduced in 1957 to great acclaim in a clubman racing circles, the original model spawned just over 2,500 copies.
The first series-produced Seven made do with the 41 PS (40 bhp) 1.2L four-cylinder Ford engine, and that was sufficient for the vehicle that tips the scales in a region of 1,100 pounds (i.e. 500 kilograms) or thereabout.
By comparison, a lightest of all current-day Seven models is the 160, and which prides itself on 80 hp from the Suzuki-developed 660cc three-pot turbocharged engine and the curb weight of 1,080 pounds.
Because Lotus wasn’t happy about its kit car-maker image, Chapman decided to sell the rights for a Seven in the early 1970s. That is how the peeps at Caterham got a permission to keep the Seven alive ’n’ kicking.
Sales never took off to mind-boggling levels, and you know what? The Seven is the specialized machine for the most daring of drivers.
That is one of the reasons the legend is still with us, and sixty years after the first example of a breed rolled off Lotus’ assembly line. And good golly, Caterham decided to remind us gearheads why a lightweight sports car is such the wowzer.
The Crawley-based automaker put together the video that features seven of the most legendary or the extreme Sevens there have ever been. And boy, it is the enjoyable watch, especially with a volume cranked all the way up to 11.
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