The Caterham Project V is a 268bhp EV coupe that could cost less than £80k | Top Gear
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The Caterham Project V is a 268bhp EV coupe that could cost less than £80k

The 1,190kg Project V is just a concept for now, but Caterham says it could make production in 2025

Published: 11 Jul 2023

Here’s some big British news for you – Caterham has unveiled a car with an actual roof. There’s more to the Project V concept than just its coupe shape of course, but for Caterham a tin top is a very big deal. 

Looking a bit like a cross between the Caterham C120 (the sports car that never was thanks to a failed joint-project with Alpine) and the Jannarelly Design-1 (Caterham’s recently appointed chief designer is none other than Anthony Jannarelly), the Project V is a small, lightweight and simple EV. Sounds promising.

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At just over 4.2m long, 1.2m tall and a little under 1.9m wide, it’s obviously a fairly hefty departure from the Seven, but thankfully Caterham hasn’t been drawn into the bonkers electric hypercar power war. So, a single, rear-mounted motor sends just 268bhp to the rear wheels and there’s a 55kWh lithium-ion battery that can rapid charge at 150kW. That should mean a 20 to 80 per cent top up in 15 minutes and a range of around 249 miles. 

The all-important weight figure? Thanks to a carbon fibre and aluminium composite chassis, plus composite body panels, Caterham is targeting 1,190kg – almost exactly the same as the combustion-engined Alpine A110

As a result, we’re told that 0-62mph should take less than 4.5 seconds and top speed should be around 143mph. 

We say ‘should’ because this thing is very much still a concept. A concept that was built by Italdesign too. However, Caterham has conducted an engineering and manufacturing feasibility study, the results of which say a production model could arrive either in late 2025 or in early 2026. 

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If that were the case, it reckons it could put this thing on sale alongside the Seven, with the Project V costing around £80,000.

It’d come with a rather strange seating configuration too. Caterham refers to the layout as a 2+1, with a lonely rear seat passenger sat in the middle of the domed cockpit. Should get a good view out from there, at least. For those that want a more traditional four-seater, a 2+2 layout will apparently be optional. Then again, do you really want the extra weight of another passenger? Parents – it’s time to pick your favourite child. 

Elsewhere inside there’s a simple dash with digital dials, a central infotainment screen and a few physical buttons and knobs. The steering wheel is clear from distractions, and we’re told there are Normal, Sport and Sprint driving modes.

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The steering itself is electrically assisted, the suspension is double wishbone and fully adjustable front and rear, and the wheels are 19-inches up front and 20 at the rear.

“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,” says boss Bob Laishley.

“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.”

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