The thing is, although it’s tempting to look at the Westfield this way, it is also utterly wrong. You realise this as soon as you see the Westfield in the metal. It has a proper, lockable boot for a start – an almost unthinkable luxury in a Caterham. Slide into the surprisingly well padded seat, and you’ll see a ‘proper’ instrument cluster.
The instruments themselves are taken from the current Vauxhall Corsa, but rather than a slapdash, er, dash, there actually seems to have been some thought put into where the switches and dials have been put (including the use of a symmetrical design to ease the switch to left-hand drive – this the first Westfield to gain European small series type approval). The overall effect is to almost make the Sport Turbo feel like a ‘real’ car, even if the way it’s all put together doesn’t quite reach the same level of integrity as a mainstream car’s cabin would.
Out on the road the Sport Turbo is perhaps not as pant-wettingly rapid as a near-200bhp turbocharged lump ought to be in a Lotus Seven-style car, but then it does weigh a comparatively portly 650kg. In fairness, the linear power delivery of the little turbocharged motor, while it takes away some of the fear factor, also takes away some of the explosive excitement that a really peaky turbo motor would give it.
Still, the Sport Turbo is more than quick enough, and the turbocharger means that mid-range overtaking punch is always available at the twitch of the right foot. The slick, short-throw gearbox is no chore if you want to explore the upper echelons of the Sport Turbo’s power band, either.
Push hard on a really challenging, bumpy B-road and you might find that the steering, which feels meaty and secure on sweeping A-roads, suddenly becomes a wee bit leaden, but its always faithful, if a little short on feel.
In the end, the Sport Turbo is a bit of a paradox – it looks and goes like a pukka hardcore roadster, but the ‘proper’ interior, comfy suspension settings and a 40mpg-plus cruising ability make it possibly more appealing a less flat-out proposition. If you intend to do a lot of track work, this probably isn’t the car for you. If, however, you want a good-value toy for the occasional country blast that doesn’t compromise too much on refinement, then the Sport Turbo could be just the ticket.