Caterham is considering custom electric sports car

Caterham has been building the much-talked-about Seven since 1973. The model has been part of the company since its foundation and has naturally received modern upgrades over the years. The basis has always been the same in combination with the low weight. It is precisely the latter that worries when the company wants to make the transition to fully electric. There is a good chance that Caterham will therefore develop a completely new model.

Difficult choices

At Caterham, all signals are red and decisions must be made. Due to new regulations, the internal combustion engine will gradually disappear from the streets in the coming years. In Europe there will even be a sales ban on such vehicles.

There was even a moment of hesitation on the part of the company to continue with the current seven for now until the new rules actually come into effect. At that point, Caterham would literally pull the plug on the company. People seem to have come to their senses now. There will and must be an electric sports car, but on a completely new basis. The current Seven is not suitable for a battery pack, as the sports car would simply be too heavy.

AeroSeven concept

Hints about what the new vehicle might look like may lie in the design of the AeroSeven Concept (which was actually converted into an electric car in Bulgaria), which the company showed almost exactly five years ago. It was a further development of the Seven’s design, but with closed wheels and an unashamedly modern aesthetic.

The concept model had a clear goal in mind. The AeroSeven concept will be small, light and simple, aiming to provide the same level of handling and capability as today’s sevens. The driving experience in particular seems to be an important spearhead for Caterham. Bob Laishley adds:

He will be nicer and more modern than a Seven – those will be big differences – and maybe he will get a roof. We are designing it from the ground up as a pure electric car, with only rear-wheel drive, and it will be registered under SVA regulations.

Seven EVs

So far, all cards are open. There are still doubts as to whether the Seven is fundamentally suitable as an electric sports car. Caterham has given its opinion on this before. With the choice for the ‘old’ Seven, the well-known design remains intact, but the model becomes quite a bit heavier. However, it is the driving experience and design that continue to attract many customers to Caterham every year.

The chances of the Seven EV actually going into production seem to be diminishing by the day. The driving characteristics in particular would be greatly affected by the battery pack. A completely new model therefore seems more obvious, but here comes a new problem. For this, Caterham must look for a partner for the development.

Looking for a partner

With the wishes and demands of Caterham, it seems inevitable that the AeroSeven Concept is the biggest contender. The company will therefore need to develop a custom EV to integrate the battery pack into the structure and thus help reduce excess mass. It could, as it has done before, partner with another company and co-develop the vehicle on someone else’s platform.

It did so with the C120, which was supposed to be a sister model to the Alpine A110. However, Renault went ahead and created the A110, while Caterham pulled the plug on the project. It would have resulted in a mechanically very similar vehicle to be built by Alpine next to the A110 in Dieppe, France.

Caterham doesn’t really have the resources to develop a completely new model on a new platform, so it went to Renault instead. So there’s a good chance it’s looking for a partner to help turn it into an electric car. Based on Caterham’s own words, this partner doesn’t seem to have been found yet, but a hotline for Renault is already there! Can you do the sum yourself with Alpine in mind?

Leave a Comment