One of the most important debuts we witnessed this month at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed was the Caterham Project V. It’s a one-off for now but the British sports car marque intends to have the production version on sale near the end of 2025 or early 2026. It’s unlike any other Caterham before it considering this is a purely electric coupe with 2+1 seating (2+2 optional) built by Italdesign.
Caterham remains a small brand, and we all know how hard it is for niche automakers to develop the necessary parts that go into making a car. To speed up the engineering process and reduce costs without compromising quality, the Project V uses the same door aperture as the Audi TT while the thin seats come from Maserati. These details weren’t mentioned when the car debuted on July 12, but they’ve now been revealed by the company’s CEO.
In an interview with the Fully Charged Show’s Jack Scarlett, Caterham’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Laishley said the plan is to use the same components for the production model. The road-going Project V will therefore follow the same strategy applied for the Seven, which has a Ford engine working with a Mazda gearbox and a BMW differential. Borrowing already developed OEM components helps brands with limited budgets save a lot of money.
Speaking of limiting expenditures, the absence of a front trunk is another cost-cutting measure by simplifying the nose of the car, therefore eliminating hinges and latches. It not only creates a beautifully clean front end but also shaves off up to 10 kilograms (22 pounds). Laishley went on to mention Caterham can’t afford to develop a showcar, only to scrap it and then start all over. In other words, what you see is basically what you’ll get in a few years from now when the subsequent production version will be launched.
In the original press release, the head honcho point out the rear-wheel-drive electric sports coupe is more than just a pretty car to show off at the Goodwood FoS: “Project V is not just a concept or design study, we’ve conducted engineering and production feasibility throughout the development process.”
The final model will target the same curb weight of 1,190 kilograms (2,623 pounds) for the 2+1 variant courtesy of a carbon fiber and aluminum composite chassis. As a refresher, the car has been engineered with a rear-mounted electric motor good for 268 hp (200 kilowatts) and a lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of 55 kWh. The Project V has double wishbone front and rear suspension along with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires for the 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels.
Caterham has promised the car will do 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in less than four and a half seconds before topping out at 143 mph (230 km/h). With the battery fully charged, it should cover 249 miles (400 kilometers) in the WLTP cycle. The battery pack supports DC charging at 150 kW, in which case it takes 15 minutes to charge the battery from 20 to 80 percent.
If everything goes according to plan, the production version penned by Anthony Jannarelly is going to cost £80,000. At current exchange rates, that works out to approximately $104,000 or €93,300. It’s not envisioned as a replacement for the Seven but rather as a complementary model.