The Japanese didn’t do things by halves either – his first ever Seven drive was at the wheel of the most powerful production Seven ever built and the ultimate incarnation of Caterham’s ethos of ‘accessible fun’, the raucous 620 R.
With 310 bhp, a top speed of 155 mph and a 0-60 mph time of less than 2.8 seconds, the 620 R made its global debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year and was put through its paces by F1 fan favourite Kobayashi at Silverstone just before he travelled to Melbourne.
“Normally, with a new car, it takes a few laps to understand it; with this car, after one corner, I understand it straight away. I feel like this is a car that I am driving, rather than the car driving me and that is a very good feeling.
“The power of the 620 R is awesome – I can’t believe you can drive this car on the road, it is definitely the closest thing to a racing car.”
Kobayashi also helped Caterham Cars launch the Seven 160 – at the opposite end of the Seven spectrum to the 620 R – for the Japanese market in Tokyo on Monday this week.
Priced at £49,995 (incl VAT), the Caterham Seven 620 R replaced the Superlight R500 at the top of the Caterham Seven range in the UK.