drawing of an old Lotus Seven

Lotus Seven, Super Seven, Caterham Seven

Performance is extreme, mostly due to the light weight. Because the car is so light, there is little mass to move around or redirect. It is almost like driving a video game, the response is so immediate and extreme, almost unreal. Typical performance is zero to 60 in around 5 seconds, braking distance from 66 to zero is 120 feet, and cornering at 1.25 gees lateral acceleration with autocross tires. Top speed is a little over 100 miles per hour.

The Super Seven is a street legal race car. It weighs 1200 pounds and has about 130 horse power. Suspension is by independent A arm in the front and a live rear axle located by a trailing link and an A frame for lateral location. The chassis frame is multiple steel tubes and a stressed aluminum skin. Fenders are made out of fiberglass. There are no doors or other comfort equipment and the seats are not adjustable.

The Seven was Colin Chapman's seventh design for Lotus. His concept was closely tied to the Eleven Clubman: A basic car with independent front suspension and a solid rear axle. The Seven debuted at the Earls Court Motor Show in London in October 1957, and the price was $1643.

Rights to the Seven were passed on to Caterham who continues to produce the car to this day. Because the car has been produced for over forty years, with many different power plants and recently some changes forced by parts being out of production, it is difficult to exactly describe the car.

This car is fun.

rear view of a Seven


road and track drawing, Sept 1997