Caterham CSR 175 - Click above for high-res image gallery
It would be tempting to call this year's Tokyo Motor Show an entirely domestic affair, but that's not entirely accurate, as a few smaller specialty automakers like Lotus and Alpina took advantage of a surplus of available square footage by nailing down prime floor space for themselves. As a belated addition to the festivities, Caterham, England's merry band of Colin Chapman acolytes marked the occasion with the world debut of its CSR 175.
The new model slots in as a new bottom rung to the CSR franchise, which is paradoxically the marque's premium range. The 175 joins the range's existing trio of variants, the 200 bhp CSR200, the 260bhp CSR260 and the full-house 260 bhp CSR Superlight. If you're paying attention, you can therefore deduce that the new addition possesses 175 bhp. That may not sound like a lot of power, but in a car that weighs as much as an anorexic gnat, we reckon the Ford-sourced 2.3-liter Duratec four-pot will still be plenty entertaining.
Either way, traditional minimalist roadsters like the Se7en have never been about terminal velocity, they've always been predicated on leech-like cornering and giant-kiling acceleration. And given that the 175 shares the CSR family's stiffer spaceframe chassis, updated suspension and refined aerodynamics, Caterham's latest should continue corner like a cat on carpet. And given the vast empty expanses of the stuff here at the show, we'd be tickled if someone handed us the keys for a bit of after-hours fun...