Turning, Japanese: Caterham’s Japan-only Kamui Kobayashi Limited Edition Seven

Turning, Japanese: Caterham's Japan-only Kamui Kobayashi Limited Edition Seven

England’s standard-bearer for lightweight, frill-free zip has been making a serious push into the Japanese market lately. First, they released the 160R, a three-cylinder Seven with a footprint small enough for it to fit the country’s kei car specification. Now they’re launching a Nihon-only version of their 250R in the form of the Kamui Kobayashi Limited Edition.

Kamui Kobayashi Caterham Seven

Designed with heavy input from the F1 driver whose name it bears, The KKLE features the 250R’s 125-hp Ford 1.6L engine paired with a six-speed manual that routes power to a limited-slip rear end. With that powertrain, Caterham claims 5.9 seconds to 62 mph and a top speed of 112 mph. After that, things get racy. The 10 cars to be built are single-seaters equipped with an aluminum tonneau for the passenger side of the cockpit. The finish is gloss black with matte stripes and the wheels are special diamond-cut, black-finished 13-inch models. It’s like, how much more black could this Seven be? And the answer is . . . well, it, it’s got those snappy green carbon-fiber fenders. So it could be blacker. Sorry, Nigel.To go with the personal-hairshirt nature of the car, it’s got a single-sided roll hoop, a carbon-fiber seat with a four-point Takata harness, Kamui-special gauge inlays, and a number 10 plastered on the nose. You know, so you match Kobayashi’s CT05 F1 car.

Kamui Kobayashi Caterham Seven interior

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The price? 6,000,000 yen, which at today’s exchange rate works out to $58,782. To put that in perspective, U.S. distributor Superformance‘s least-powerful, least-expensive Caterham model is the Seven 280, which features a 140-hp version of the Ford 1.6 paired with a five-speed manual for $45,350. Then, of course, you’ve gotta shell out the bones to have somebody to put the engine in. Alternately, buying one is a great excuse for a Harbor Freight binge. We wonder what Kamui Kobayashi thinks of Harbor Freight?

Kamui Kobayashi Caterham Seven

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