Caterham Seven 1.4: Spotted

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 Β£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 Β£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...


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

See the original advert here.


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Comments (18) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Nerdherder 14 Mar 2019

    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. 14 Mar 2019


  • SuperSonicSloth 14 Mar 2019

    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 14 Mar 2019

    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) if I could find a Caterham minus engine or better still a S2 Lotus Seven?!

  • carinaman 14 Mar 2019


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