Caterham has revealed Project V, a lightweight fully-electric coupé concept vehicle that has the potential to arrive in late 2025 or early 2026.
Designed as an electric vehicle from the start, Project V is the creation of new Chief Designer, Anthony Jannarelly. His vision has been brought to life by world-renowned Italian engineering firm, Italdesign.
Project V uses a battery electric powertrain, powered by a 200kW (272PS) 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% 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).
The minimalist design philosophy means Project V, just like the Seven, is lightweight and simple. Caterham has targeted a kerb weight of 1,190kg (2+1 configuration) which will be achieved by using an innovative carbon fibre and aluminium composite chassis.
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.” 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.”
The Project V show car uses a 2+1 seating layout – 2+2 as optional – which optimises ingress and egress, provides more comfort for the rear seat passenger and offers greater flexibility in how a prospective owner may use the car. At the centre of the interior is a simple, driver-focussed infotainment system featuring smartphone mirroring, and a digital instrument cluster is used to display key information. Drivers can choose between Normal, Sport and Sprint driving modes that intelligently adjust the acceleration and steering for different environments.
The concept features double wishbone front and rear suspension with fully adjustable geometry, electrically assisted power steering, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres (19″ front and 20″ rear), and brake discs all-round with high-performance calipers.
Andrea Porta, Business Development Manager at Italdesign, said: “We’re delighted to have partnered with Caterham and Anthony Jannarelly to bring Project V to life. At every step, we have applied our experience in producing commercially viable concept and prototype vehicles, to ensure that any future production version can be brought to market at pace.”
Laishley continued: “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. 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.”
Kazuho Takahashi, President and CEO of VT Holdings, said: “We are honoured to be able to unveil two new vehicles from Caterham at Goodwood Festival of Speed. The new models are a result of an uncompromising fusion of two seemingly contradictory requirements: retaining the Caterham values that must never change, while evolving to meet the changing demands of customers, such as the shift towards electric. We express our deepest gratitude to all those involved in this project and to everyone who has supported Caterham over the past 50 years.”
The Project V show car made its public debut on the Caterham stand at 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed.