RE: Caterham Seven 1.4: Spotted

RE: Caterham Seven 1.4: Spotted

Thursday 14th March

Caterham Seven 1.4: Spotted

Want a cheap, entry-level Caterham that isn't a 160? There is another way!



When the Caterham Seven 160 arrived - more than five years ago now, incredibly - it really was something new for the brand. An engine far smaller than ever before, turbocharged for the first time, and cheaper than any other Seven, too - the kit available from £15k.

It's proved popular, too, certainly if the sell-out limited edition Sprint and SuperSprint models are anything to go by. And in a cute, retro-type way, the three-cylinder cars are quite entertaining, parping away merrily while delivering a decent turn of speed.

Trouble is, there is something lost about the Caterham experience in the switch to turbocharging. Response has slackened, the willingness to rev is not quite there and inevitably its throttle adjustability is less precise. So while they're very good, the three-cylinder Caterhams, anyone with experience of the naturally-aspirated cars might find one or two crucial elements lacking.


So what about this one? It was made just three years ago, but using a 1.4-litre K Series engine. That's right - in 2016 it was still possible to buy a Caterham with a K Series. Who knew? The Seven was arguably the most successful installation of the K Series, creating models as memorable as the original R300 and R500.

Like the 160, this is a low-powered Seven (it makes 105hp, the turbo car 80), meaning it's ideal for those in the market for their first Seven; powerful enough to feel exciting without lacking the intimidation factor of the bigger-engined cars. But with this version the character and excitement of those models is retained by using a similar engine - sounds like a win-win.


It gets better, too, because this K Series car is as cheap as Sevens go - it's £14,995 with fewer than 6,000 miles on it. To get into a Seven 160 you'll need two grand more, this orange car also with another 20,000 miles. Indeed to get into a Sprint - admittedly a more expensive limited edition - requires more than twice the outlay.

Sure, something like an Elise might offer a similarly immersive experience, but that'll be a much older car. As an introduction to just what's so special about a Seven, this one looks bob on - and British summer time is a matter of weeks away, according to the calendar...




SPECIFICATION - CATERHAM SEVEN 1.4

Engine: 1,396cc, four-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 105@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 95@N/Arpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 2016
Recorded mileage: 5,963
Price new: £18,689
Yours for: £14,995

See the original advert here.

 

Author
Discussion

Nerdherder

Original Poster:

511 posts

36 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
If I could find a LHD version of the 1.4 with similar balance of state/mileage/price I'd snap it up in a second.

Edited by Nerdherder on Thursday 14th March 15:12

Luke.

7,811 posts

189 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
Sold.

SuperSonicSloth

17 posts

11 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
This is so very tempting, if only I had a garage. These are about the nicest looking sevens IMHO, the minilites set them off a treat. Love the idea of a little, revvy K unit. And British Racing Green too, oh my. I need to move house...

Lotobear

1,100 posts

67 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
I used to have a 1.4k Supersport (130bhp) with the 6 speed box.

Such a fun little car, the high revving low torque 1.4 K suited it so well.

I had it upgraded by DVA to a 1.8 Supersport - it came back with more power and grunt but was never as nice as the 1.4 with 130bhp - it was the real sweet spot.

I said I'd never have another after the subsequent owner had a horrendous accident in it (I posted the pics of the car crash thread) but I have a dry sumped Lotus TC sitting in my garage looking for a home (I've missed the Mk1 Escort boat) ....now if I could find a Caterham minus engine or better still a S2 Lotus Seven?!

carinaman

13,207 posts

111 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
Delightful.
Advertisement

The Crack Fox

13,300 posts

131 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
I think the article is a little harsh on the 160 - I've driven a few different Caterhams and it remains my favorite. Yes, you have to work it, but the thrappy engine is so engaging.



£15k for the one in the feature seems acceptable (now sold, as mentioned above), but a brand new one for not much more looks even more appealing. smile

mrbarnett

290 posts

32 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
I just got so excited about this that I dived onto their website to see the new 7's for under £20k. There are none; the base car is now the 270 at over £26k.


Inflation much?!

SuperSonicSloth

17 posts

11 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
Lotobear said:
I said I'd never have another after the subsequent owner had a horrendous accident in it (I posted the pics of the car crash thread)
I guess these will never be the safest things on the road. Overkill perhaps, but there's always the potential for getting one with a cage. Got to be a safer way of getting your motoring kicks than a 2-wheel alternative?

DoubleD

7,232 posts

47 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
It looks lovely in green

simonh9

162 posts

125 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
Lotobear said:
I used to have a 1.4k Supersport (130bhp) with the 6 speed box.

Such a fun little car, the high revving low torque 1.4 K suited it so well.

I had it upgraded by DVA to a 1.8 Supersport - it came back with more power and grunt but was never as nice as the 1.4 with 130bhp - it was the real sweet spot.
Snap! I started with 1.4 130bhp 6 speed. A really sweet engine that came alive from 4500rpm. I put verniers on, which undoubtedly made it quicker, but it lost that 'coming on cam' feeling. You had to thrape it but it always surprised people that it was only a 1.4. I then put a 1.8 in, which made it a fair chunk quicker, but relatively unsatisfying at the top end as the power tailed off after 7.

Fast forward many years and I've bought a 1.6 hoping to capture the essence of the 1.4 but with a little more grunt - my theory being that perhaps the 1.8 is too long stroke, so the 1.6 being a bored out 1.4 would be revvier. It is revvier than the 1.8 certainly, but still not quite as manic as the 1.4. I think a DVA throttle body kit should be the next port of call!

irish boy

2,337 posts

175 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
The 1.4 105 k series is a delightful little engine in the mgzr so can't see how it would disappoint in a Caterham.

Don Roque

16,474 posts

98 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
Sounds like a good bet. Even with it's low output, anything has to be better than turbocharging in a Caterham. I doubt the 160 triple is bad but I can image it rather lacks the finesse and control of this model.

M4CK 1

265 posts

66 months

Thursday 14th March
quotequote all
Did they do 1.6 version? I believe these were the sweetest of the K series.

PATTERNPART

624 posts

140 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
Very nice and the K Series is a classic in its own right. Ideal for the car. And faithful in a way to Colin Chapman's A Series in much earlier cars.

ash73

15,589 posts

160 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
Car looks mint, but 1.6 K with the 6 speed box was the real sweet spot, imo.

HustleRussell

15,939 posts

99 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
Have owned a later Ford 1.6 version and my Dad had an R300 with the Duratec, the Ford engines completely lack the character of the K-series.

SidewaysSi

5,173 posts

173 months

Friday 15th March
quotequote all
I have a 1.6K Superlight. It is bloody brilliant smile

The best of the Sevens according to EVO some years ago:

https://www.evo.co.uk/caterham/7/19534/from-lotus-...

CDP

5,605 posts

193 months

Saturday 16th March
quotequote all
irish boy said:
The 1.4 105 k series is a delightful little engine in the mgzr so can't see how it would disappoint in a Caterham.
Pity it didn't end up in the Mini too.

coppice

5,034 posts

83 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
I had the 1.4K SS in the 90s - a brilliant engine , revved for ever , sounded fantastic but completely ruined by ratios in 5 speed box then fitted. 70 in second, 95 in 3rd and couldn't pull up a motorway hill in 5th . No power below 5k revs - which is why it was transformed by the 6 speed. But it was cheaper for me to get a bigger engine. What gearbox does it now have?