The Caterham Project V is the British brand’s first-ever hardtop all-electric coupe and the main talking points are its low weight of 2,623 pounds (1,190 kilograms), fun-to-drive character, and overall simplicity.
To achieve this in an age where EVs are increasingly heavier due to the big batteries required to provide long driving ranges, Caterham has employed some techniques that would otherwise be frowned upon in a mass-market vehicle, such as the lack of a front trunk, which is becoming a normal occurrence in the world of EVs.
However, as the brand’s CEO, Bob Laishley, says in the Fully Charged video embedded above, which was filmed at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed, there’s a simple explanation for all of this: money.
Gallery: Caterham Project V Electric Coupe
There’s no frunk because it’s expensive to develop, as with any part that’s designed to open and close tens of thousands of times during its lifetime. Caterham is a small company with a small budget, so going down this route allowed it to minimize costs, as well as utilize all the space in the front of the car for the best suspension bits – in this case, a fully adjustable double-wishbone setup.
It’s worth noting that while the Caterham Project V isn’t a static show car, it’s also not exactly a finished product, being designed by Anthony Janarelly, the firm’s new Chief Designer, and made with the support of Italdesign manufacturing.
With this being said, the British company known for its Lotus Seven-based open-wheelers has put a lot of effort into doing as much development work as possible, seeing how it doesn’t have enough money to make a static showpiece that can be just displayed in a museum when it’s all said and done. Instead, the Project V is as close to a finished product as it can be, and to make this happen, Caterham has repurposed some parts made by other car makers in order to keep costs down.
For instance, the door aperture is from the Audi TT and the front seats are from Maserati, which saves time and money, as well as making the Project V look less like a kit car and more like a quality product.
The spec sheet of Caterham’s first hardtop EV says that it will be powered by a 200-kilowatt (268 horsepower) rear electric motor that’s paired with a 55-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, giving it an estimated range of 249 miles (400 kilometers). The firm’s CEO says that the pack is actually split in two, with one half tucked underneath the driver’s footwell (it’s a right-hand drive car), while the other is under the single rear seat.
“We’re not aiming for a digital driving experience,” said Caterham’s CEO in the Fully Charged video. “We want to keep that analog feel to the car as much as we can with an EV powertrain, and that’s a journey we’re just starting.”
The Caterham Project V is expected to make it into production in late 2025 for a yet-to-be-disclosed price.
As always, we’d like to know what you think about the video embedded above, so after watching it, head over to the comments section below to give us your thoughts.