The Caliente is shown in the 1979 Schwinn catalog as a "fancy" version of the Varsity. It was a 37 pound Chicago built bike with two unique features. It had Shimano Positron indexed "click" shifting in the rear gear changer and the Shimano FF freewheel that permitted shifting while standing still, or even while the chain was moving backwards. The idea was to make it possible for anyone to "correctly" shift a ten speed bike.
The combination of a 39 inch front chainwheel and 14 to 28 freewheel made it easy to ride, even for people who rarely got on a bike. Unfortunately, by 1979, the market for a 37 pound road bike was rapidly approaching zero. The Caliente listed for $173 in September 1979. For just $190, Schwinn customers could buy a Le Tour IV that weighed just 30 pounds with a lugged frame (part of a very brief "experiment" in building low cost lugged frames in Schwinn's Chicago factory). And, the lighter bike had fancier, better looking components.
In 1979, $173 was a good bit of money, about equal to $300 or $350 today. The frame and bearings used on a Chicago Schwinn were intended to provide twenty years or more of dependable service...there are probably a good number of these bikes still on the road.