Now this hardcore Seven actually begins to click on. It’s scorching, it’s noisy, it’s sparse and it’s stiff, however it’s additionally phenomenally enlivening. The flat upshifts, for which you yank the brief 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 whole immersion within the act of driving, and the balanced, cohesive 420R desires each little bit of tempo squeezed out of it with exact, assertive inputs into the unassisted however mild steering (the rack can also be faster than on any road-going Seven) and comparable for the pedals.
The Avons are additionally a revelation. Even when half-baked, they’re producing grip that doesn’t simply compute when you’re used to testing highway vehicles. At near correct working temperature, allied to such a light-weight automotive, their jowl-tugging means is profound. You would want downforce for extra. But they’re a lot extra progressive than you would possibly anticipate. The truth is, to go deep into the Championship expertise, you’ll want to get pleasure from that sensation of the chassis floating somewhat loosely above the monitor floor as a result of, as with outdated single-seaters, the 200-section rears want some slip angle to provide their finest, and the automotive is simply too pleased to oblige. Utilizing energy as an alternative to steering lock is the quickest manner ahead but additionally probably the most enjoyable.
The place this Seven actually separates itself from highway vehicles is the way in which you’ll be able to 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 manner. It’s an expressive machine, with loads of bark and loads of chew but additionally numerous 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 could possibly 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 rising the rake of the automotive by way of the spring-mounts. Nevertheless, doing each these issues collectively would most likely make the handing too edgy.