Caterham Project V: The Electric Coupe Concept Going into Production
Caterham has revealed the Project V concept, a sleek battery-electric coupe designed to showcase the company's commitment to simplicity and lightness in the electric era. With a focus on expanding its lineup, Caterham aims to introduce its first new model line in nearly three decades. Designed by Anthony Jannarelly, the hardtop concept draws inspiration from classic cars like the Lotus Elan and Lotus 40 race car.
The Project V features composite body panels, measuring 167.6 inches in length, 75.2 inches in width, and 49.8 inches in height, with a 101.8-inch wheelbase. The design incorporates a unique 2+1 seating configuration, allowing for a third occupant, primarily suited for a child or someone of smaller stature. The company plans to offer an optional 2+2 seating arrangement in the future.
To bring the concept to life, Caterham enlisted Italdesign to engineer the roadworthy version. The composite body panels were attached to a new carbon fiber and aluminum chassis. The cabin has been optimized for a low seating position, achieved by splitting the 55-kWh lithium-ion battery pack into two modules—one placed ahead of the instrument panel bulkhead and the other located behind the cabin. The battery pack can be charged from 20% to 80% in just 15 minutes and powers a rear-axle 268-horsepower motor, providing an estimated range of 249 miles on the WLTP cycle.
Maintaining its focus on lightweight performance, Caterham targets a weight of 2,624 pounds for the Project V, which is significantly lighter than the Porsche 718 Boxster. The current weight of the concept is around 220 pounds more than the target, highlighting its conceptual nature.
The Project V is equipped with double wishbone suspension with adjustable dampers and features 19-inch wheels at the front and 20-inch wheels at the rear, the largest ever fitted to a Caterham. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires provide excellent grip. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph is estimated to take less than 4.5 seconds, with a top speed projected at 143 mph.
Inside the cabin, the Project V showcases a digital gauge cluster and an infotainment screen supporting Apple CarPlay. The trunk offers enough space for two adults to pack for a weekend getaway.
Caterham intends to keep the overall shape of the concept when transitioning into production. Some refinements will be made for aerodynamics and homologation purposes. CEO Bob Laishley expressed confidence in the design, stating that little to no changes will be made. However, the full production process, including aero testing and financing, is expected to take approximately three years. The projected price for the Project V is estimated to be below $103,195, positioning it competitively in the market. Caterham also plans to introduce the model to the U.S. market.
Also, Fisker has recently revealed its newest addition to the lineup, the Fisker Ronin. Positioned as the company's flagship vehicle, this electric convertible GT sports car boasts four doors and is set to make a significant impact in the automotive industry.