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A huge fixed wing is part of a £5k options package

Side-exit exhaust means the Seven is a raucous companion


Caterham Seven 620S KTM X-Bow GT (2013) Price now Price new Engine Power Torque Gearbox Kerb weight 0-62mph Top speed Economy CO2/tax band

£45,795 £45,795 4 cyls, 1999cc, supercharged, petrol 310bhp at 7700rpm 219lb ft at 7350rpm 5-spd manual 610kg 3.4sec (to 60mph) 145mph na na

its faster rack and smaller steering wheel, which make the rack heavier, plus compromised ergonomics everywhere else on account of its tiny size, make the Seven feel its age next to the KTM, which has an adjustable steering wheel and pedal box and more room to use all of its controls. Either car is expensive to buy outright, even used, although these are not necessarily expensive cars to run. Smith does an oil change every third track day, in addition to having the car regularly serviced. Both the KTM and Caterham have tweaked versions of mainstream production engines, so unlike supercars of this kind of cost, overall running costs are reasonable, although if you bin an all-carbonfibre KTM on a circuit the

£60,000 £82,600 4 cyls, 1984cc, turbocharged, petrol 281bhp at 6400rpm 310lb ft at 3200rpm 6-spd manual 845kg 4.1sec 144mph 34mpg (combined) 189g/km, 34%

bill can be quite large. Both cars hold their value well, too: no KTM seems to get cheaper than £35,000, even a very early one, while Caterhams benefit from legendarily shallow depreciation curves. In the end, then, used doesn’t necessarily trump new for the umpteenth time in one of these features. In fact, I’m almost prepared to call it an honourable draw. Almost. For me, though, the Seven remains – by a much smaller margin than I’d anticipated – the better, more agile and adjustable car to drive, which tips the balance in its favour. But if you like the idea of a X-Bow, particularly in this GT form, I don’t think you’d regret it for a second. MATT PRIOR

Tiny Seven makes few concessions to driver comfort

GT-spec windscreen renders the X-Bow surprisingly refined 23 NOVEMBER 2016 AUTOCAR.CO.UK 51