How often do you hear the phrase: "Wouldn't it be great if there was a modern version of xxxx?". We come across it quite frequently, usually accompanied by some grumbling about the innate dullness of all modern cars and the state of the roads and ... you get the picture.
Still, with the arrival of the Caterham Seven 160, we can indeed welcome back a hero of the past. Kind of. See, if you ignore the fact that the Seven is a fundamentally older car (yes, we know that's quite big), then the 160 is a reimagined Cappuccino. Suzuki underpinnings, the three-cylinder turbo and some very B-road friendly dimensions.
With about 20hp less than the new car, the Cappuccino won't scoot away from a standstill quite as swiftly (Suzuki pun intended) as the Seven. But it should still sprint to 62mph in around eight seconds, which will undoubtedly feel fast enough in such a low and tiny package.
Looks are of course entirely subjective, but to these eyes the Cappuccino is the nicer thing to look at with its 7/8 roadster aesthetic. We've wanted to feature a Cappuccino for a while, even before the Seven 160 was announced. Similarly to the Smart Roadster, it was expensive new and yet looks more and more appealing the longer it stays out of production.
With relatively few making it to Britain officially, finding a good one now is hard, hence we've not been able to write about one. See the bodykitted car and the one with the poorly written ad in the classifieds.
But N27AWM appears a good'un. Cappuccinos are often blighted by rust, but the pictures imply this one looks clean enough. And the lightweight, minimalist (ok, basic) interior looks fairly fresh given its 18 years old also.
The vendor's suggestion of 'autumn sunshine' looks optimistic at best, but we'd argue that's the only dubious part of his ad. There's a 12-month MOT and the cambelt has recently been changed, a known Cappuccino weak spot.
Sure, it's hardly the most rational or practical option available at four grand. But the Seven 160 rather makes us hanker for a back-to-basics roadster, and for those on an even tighter budget the Cappuccino fits the bill perfectly.