Caterham is unveiling Project V, a new all-electric sports car, on July 12 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Like the Seven, the company's roadster based on the original Lotus Seven, Project V is a lightweight, rear-wheel drive sports car. Unlike the Seven, it's fully electric and could arrive as early as late 2025.
Designed by Anthony Jannarelly, Caterham's new Chief Designer, Project V was intended as an electric vehicle from the start. Power comes from a 200-kilowatt motor mounted in the rear axle and paired with a 55-kWh USOC lithium-ion battery pack, giving it 268 horsepower and an estimated range of 249 miles. It will also recharge from 20 to 80 percent in 15 minutes using a 150 kW DC rapid charger.
Gallery: Caterham Project V Electric Coupe
Adhering to Caterham's minimalist design philosophy, the Project V sports car is simple and lightweight, weighing approximately 1,190 kilograms or about 2,623 pounds. Built around a carbon fiber and aluminum composite chassis, it uses a fully adjustable front and rear double-wishbone suspension and electrically assisted power steering. Caterham estimates the coupe will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 143 mph.
The Project V show car uses a unique 2+1 seating layout with an optional 2+2 configuration. Caterham says this layout optimizes comfort for the rear seat passenger and provides greater flexibility of use. Upfront, the dashboard is refreshingly minimal, with two round digital gauges in front of the steering wheel. A series of rocker switches mounted low on the center console allow the driver to change between Normal, Sport, and Sprint modes which adjust the acceleration, suspension, and steering. The infotainment system is simple and intuitive, featuring smartphone mirroring.
According to Bob Laishley, CEO of Caterham Cars Ltd, Project V is more than a design study or concept. The development team conducted engineering and production feasibility studies throughout the development process. "Project V fulfills our ambition to sustainably grow the company and explore electrification simultaneously," he said. "Subject to the next phases of development and technical capability, Project V could be brought to market towards the end of 2025 or early 2026."
As for the existing Seven, Laishley added that the Project V couple isn't a replacement but a compliment to it. "We believe that by retaining the core Caterham values, it will appeal to both our existing customer base and attract new fans to the brand," said Laishley. "By using a more practical coupé body style and by exploiting the packaging benefits of an EV, this is a car that works as well for trips to the shops, or the school run, as it does for Sunday morning sprints.”
Project V will join vehicles like the Pininfarina Battista Edizione Nino Farina, MG4 EX4 concept, and many other EVs at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed.