Adding another name to the list of F1 inspired road cars, is this special edition of the Caterham Seven. So is it marketing over substance, or does the lightweight roadster gain anything by being associated with the Japanese driver?
Let’s get this out-of-the-way, They’re only making 10 examples, and they’re only going on sale in Japan; apparently Caterham’s second biggest export market. So, realistically, if you’re reading this you probably can’t buy one. But that doesn’t necessarily stop us being interested in just what is so special about this limited edition of the Seven.
Firstly, just because it has Kobayashi’s name on it doesn’t mean it comes with F1 levels of power and performance. Instead, the 1.6 litre four-cylinder Ford Sigma engine offers up just 123 bhp (the same as a 2001 VW Polo GTI), with 119 lb-ft of torque. However, the diminutive weight of the Seven means performance is still brisk, with 0-62 mph in 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 122 mph. Clearly not supercar territory, but more than enough to dispense with your average hot-hatch. A six-speed gearbox and limited slip differential mean the rear wheel drive Seven will happily engage in some Tokyo-drift style action.
Outside features gloss black paintwork for the main bodywork, with subtle matt black striping down the centre. The front and rear wings are finished in carbon fibre, complete with an ‘infusion’ of green lacquer – Caterham’s words, not ours. (more…)