Caterham Project V unveiled: an all-electric coupé concept car

"Lightness, simplicity and agility" are the words from Caterham for this new concept EV, and a production model could arrive by 2026

The curtains have drawn over this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, but we still have more electric cars to shine light!

ev.tips had reported about the British carmaker’s latest creation, the brainchild of Chief Designer, Anthony Jannarelly and buily by renowned Italdesign in Turin, coming to Goodwood, and we did not miss out on it in our list of 10 coolest EVs from the festival.

But now that it’s out in the open, we’ve got some more interesting information about it. If you couldn’t have told, it’s coupé, strikingly similar to a Lotus Elise or Alfa Romeo 4C. Still, strikingly gorgeous.

> The 10 coolest EVs at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2023

And obviously being Caterham, the chief concern when building an electric sports car will be the weight. But the minimalist design philosophy adopted by the Dartford-based manufacturer means Project V, just like the Seven, is lightweight and simple.

Caterham has targeted a kerb weight of 1,190kg, achieved by using an innovative carbon fibre and aluminium composite chassis.

Project V uses a battery electric powertrain, powered by a 200kW single motor mounted in the rear axle. This is paired with a 55kWh USOC lithium-ion battery pack with advanced thermal management, and the ability to recharge from 20-80 per cent in as little as 15 minutes using a 150kW DC rapid charger.

With acceleration of 0-62mph (100kph) in less than 4.5 seconds, Project V will reach an estimated top speed of 143mph (230kph) and deliver a target WLTP range of 249 miles (400km).

Bob Laishley, CEO of Caterham Cars Ltd and COO of the newly established Caterham EVo, said: “Project V is not just a concept or design study, we’ve conducted engineering and production feasibility throughout the development process.

“An electric Caterham of any shape and size has to stay true to what sets us apart from everyone else: being lightweight, simple and offering an unparalleled driving experience; that’s our DNA.”

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He added: “Project V fulfils our ambition to sustainably grow the company and explore electrification simultaneously. 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 with a target price starting from less than £80,000.”

Anthony Jannarelly, Chief Designer for Project V, added: “A Caterham Seven’s design is simple and minimalist, it’s designed for its intended function, to be lightweight and fun to drive.

“With Project V, we’re applying this philosophy to the sports coupé architecture to create a seducing and timeless silhouette. Every single feature has to justify itself from a weight perspective to maintain lightness and optimise driver engagement.”

According to Laishley, the aim of Caterham in designing the Project V was to make a car “that works as well for trips to the shops, or the school run, as it does for Sunday morning sprints”. How did they do it? “By using a more practical coupé body style and by exploiting the packaging benefits of an EV”, he said.

“Project V isn’t instead of Seven, it’s complimentary to it, and 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,” the CEO added.

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The electric concept car made its debut last week at Goodwood, and Caterham insists that this time, it will actually turn it into a production model, after coming close by partnering with Alpine for developing the A110. However, the deal didn’t go anywhere and left cash-strapped Caterham with nothing but a prototype.

The company has set a target for bringing it to market, late 2025 or early 2026. We’ll be paying close attention.

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