Now this hardcore Seven actually begins to click on. It’s sizzling, it’s noisy, it’s sparse and it’s stiff, however it’s additionally phenomenally enlivening. The flat upshifts, for which you yank the quick lever backwards, are slammed house on the engine’s shouty redline, as a result of with out synchromesh it’s there that the actuation is smoothest.
This automotive has shift lights, however there’s no want take your eyes off the monitor. That is complete immersion within the act of driving, and the balanced, cohesive 420R needs each little bit of tempo squeezed out of it with exact, assertive inputs into the unassisted however mild steering (the rack can be faster than on any road-going Seven) and related for the pedals.
The Avons are additionally a revelation. Even when half-baked, they’re producing grip that doesn’t simply compute in the event you’re used to testing highway automobiles. At near correct working temperature, allied to such a light-weight automotive, their jowl-tugging capability is profound. You would wish downforce for extra. But they’re a lot extra progressive than you would possibly anticipate. The truth is, to go deep into the 420R Championship expertise, you must take pleasure in that sensation of the chassis floating a bit of loosely above the monitor floor as a result of, as with previous single-seaters, the 200-section rears want some slip angle to present their finest, and the automotive is just too glad to oblige. Utilizing energy as an alternative to steering lock is the quickest means ahead but in addition probably the most enjoyable.
The place this Seven actually separates itself from highway automobiles is the style in which you’ll rag the hell out of it but it by no means feels as if it’s going to come back round on itself, or punish you in a harmful means. It’s an expressive machine, with lots of bark and loads of chunk but in addition plenty of enthusiastic face-licking.
The truth is, so confidence-inspiring is that this Caterham that I find yourself wanting extra oversteer within the steadiness, even after comparatively little time with the automotive. This might be achieved by both including an anti-roll bar on the rear (this instance has neither a entrance nor rear ARB fitted, to my shock) or by growing the rake of the automotive through the spring-mounts. Nevertheless, doing each these issues collectively would most likely make the handing too edgy.