Our test car was the 310R; the R pack, for £3,990 over the £24,995 factory-built price, gives you a limited-slip diff, lightweight flywheel, sport suspension, rear anti-roll bar, uprated brakes, carbon-fibre dashboard, composite race seats, Momo steering wheel, four-point race harness and various other bits and pieces. It looks and feels like the business.
Every time I climb into the driver’s seat in a Caterham, it brings a smile to my face. You forget how low you sit, how far you can stretch out your legs to the pedals, how good the ergonomics are, with the stubby little gear lever just where your hand falls from the tiny steering wheel.
On the move, the front wheels jiggle up and down while the rear axle sits just below you. The entire car lies in front of you, for a potent point-and-squirt sensation, with those great headlights puncturing the horizon – the 310 has, for the first time in Caterham’s history, LED lights which add a neat point of differentiation.
Our car had the optional six-speed gearbox for another £2,500 which we’d highly recommend – once you get the revs above 4,000rpm, which suits this engine, the short shifts get quicker and the car positively sings. We threw it up Box Hill and round the more rural parts of Surrey, if that’s not an oxymoron, and the 152bhp was pretty much ideal for a bit of fun.