June 14 I used to have a Caterham savings account when I was younger – that’s how determined I was to own one. Then life got in the way and I bought a BMW estate.
I mention that because I love the little car but I’m not sure the 620S really has any place on British roads now. I drive a lot of high performance vehicles but this particular Caterham is too extreme, too powerful and too unforgiving for our congested highways.
On a track it’s a different story. The Seven brings supercar thrills to the masses at fraction of the cost. There’s nothing else for this sort of money that will excite so much.
But crawling through traffic, trying to keep within speed limits and not piling off through a hedge in the wet are not strong points of the Caterham 620S.
For once, I’d say buy one of the many less powerful models. I guarantee you will have just as much fun and life to drive anther day…
June 13 I once won a set of tyres driving a Caterham Seven on a handling course. Based on the original Lotus Seven, the Caterham version has changed little since the original Colin Chapman design of 1957. It’s a brilliant handling car but bonkers to the core.
This 620S model is the maddest of them all. And I mean mad. Kicking out 310bhp at 7,350 revs, you need all your wits about you to enjoy a motor that will go sideways at the slightest opportunity.
My spell with the Seven started at Heathrow airport. The car was delivered with the roof down (mostly because it’s painfully hot inside with the canvass in place) and by the time I reached the M4 it was lashing with rain.
Stuck in traffic, I put an umbrella up. Then I made it to a filling station canopy and fought for 20 minutes popping the roof in place.
It still leaked of course but at least I wasn’t sitting in a puddle. Then the windscreen wipers stopped working. I became a Chinese acrobat trying to find the right fuse but discovered something else had broken instead.
So I drove the rest of my journey without wipers and cursed the day the car was born. It’ll get better but £45k for this Caterham is simply too much…
June 12 Returning from Italy is always a drag. However, leaving behind a Lamborghini is even worse. Other supercars are available but I think I’ve found my automotive soulmate.
The Miura was the hook to being in Bologna but driving the Aventador and Huracan for the first time broke the spell of Mclaren which has been hanging over me for the last few weeks.
Now, you might think the 760bhp Aventador would seduce me but it was the considerably cheaper Huracan that proved the easier, more accessible supercar.
I’m hoping Car Couture can get one on test before the end of the year, so watch this space. For the next few days I’m in a Caterham 7 620S. More on that tomorrow…