That is the Caterham Challenge V idea, a battery-electric three-seater coupe idea. The hardtop represents the corporate’s effort to increase and its exploration into how Caterham values of simplicity and lightness could be translated into the electrical period. The Challenge V might find yourself being the primary new Caterham mannequin line virtually 30 years, however that idea tag holds sway for now, therefore the in-progress naming scheme. We’ll begin with the pores and skin, designed by Anthony Jannarelly. We final coated a Jannarelly creation when the Design-1 coupe and roadster launched in 2019, his pen put to work on the Lykan Hypersport and Fenyr SuperSport earlier than that. Autocar reviews Caterham requested for sketches from six designers, Jannarelly’s concept, with notes from classics just like the Lotus Elan and Lotus 40 race automobile, received.
The composite physique panels cowl 167.6 inches of size, 75.2 of width, and 49.8 inches in peak on a 101.8-inch wheelbase. That is about six inches shorter, 5 inches narrower, and two inches decrease than the present Porsche 718 Boxster, however on a wheelbase 4.7 inches longer. The additional area between the axles has been used as area for a 3rd occupant. As customary, the Challenge V would include 2+1 seating, the third seat centrally positioned and actually solely meant for a kid or somebody of slight stature. The concept is that an proprietor with a toddler would not must sacrifice the Caterham. If all goes to plan, 2+2 seating might be an possibility.
Caterham commissioned Italdesign to engineer the design right into a roadgoing car; Italdesign hooked up the composite physique panels to a completely new chassis common from carbon fiber and aluminum. To maintain occupants seated low within the cabin, engineers break up the 55-kWh lithium-ion battery pack into two modules. One bundle sits forward of the instrument panel bulkhead, the opposite sits behind the cabin. This a novel unit with prismatic cells that are not utilized in any autos in the meanwhile, so there’s testing to be performed there earlier than approval. The pack could be recharged from 20% to 80% in quarter-hour. It powers one motor, a 268-horsepower unit on the rear axle, to an estimated vary of 249 miles on the WLTP cycle.
These might seem to be exceptionally modest numbers, however keep in mind that Caterham’s purpose is all the time lightness and agility. Goal weight for the Challenge V is 2,624 kilos with fluids, which is a minimum of 416 kilos lower than the 718 Boxster. Proper now, it is mentioned the Challenge V weighs about 220 kilos greater than the goal, reinforcing the conceptual nature.
There are double wishbones with adjustable dampers throughout, suspending 19-inch wheels in entrance, 20-inch wheels in again. Tires come from the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S household, the wheel and tire combo being the biggest ever bolted to a Caterham. On the goal weight, getting from zero to 62 miles per hour is estimated to take lower than 4.5 seconds, terminal velocity calculated to be 143 mph.
The inside sticks to the corporate ethos, a digital gauge cluster paired with an infotainment display screen working Apple CarPlay. Trunk area is sufficient for 2 adults to get away for the weekend.
Caterham intends to place the Challenge V into manufacturing largely as is. CEO Bob Laishley mentioned, “We’ve set out from the start that that is what we need to make. After we transfer to the manufacturing part, there might be little or no change, actually to the general form. Some issues will change: the aero – there was no aerodynamic research performed on this but – and angles of assault for the spoilers and bits and items. We might want to refine some bits and items for homologation. However primarily, that is our first shot at a manufacturing automobile. It simply so occurs it’s a mannequin.”
Getting all of the bits in place, from the aero testing to the financing, might take three years. Proper now, the manufacturing model of the Challenge V is guessed to run lower than £80,000 mark ($103,195 U.S.). That is a number of grand greater than a 718 Cayman GTS 4.0, however is likely to be nearer to the battery-electric 718 Cayman when the brand new German arrives. Irrespective of the place the worth lands, Caterham intends the Challenge V to land within the U.S. market.