One of the Most Traditional Car Companies Will Launch an Electric Sports Car Soon
Caterham Cars doesn’t usually appear as a leader in new technology. In fact, this tiny British car company is known mainly for making a throwback car: the Caterham Seven. The Seven is, in many ways, the same car that Lotus Cars built in 1957, but with only a few modern upgrades.
What will an electric Caterham 7 look like?
We don’t know much yet. But according to Road & Track, the new car will have two doors, a steel spaceframe, and an aluminum or carbon fiber body. And, of course, it will be electric. Every Seven is a convertible, so this weird EV would likely be one, too. But, this isn’t the first time Caterham announced an electric version, so we’re not holding our breath.
Owners praise Lotus cars and their Caterham ancestors for their lightness. A light car can do magical things that a heavy one won’t, or can’t. These little, two-seat, cars are made for blasting through canyon roads and for fun track days. Will an electric version be able to do all that a Catherham 7 does? One of the joys of a Caterham Seven, however, is its slick manual gearbox. Most EVs have one-speed gearboxes, and Caterham didn’t say what kind of transmission the new car could have.
The company Blaze EV already makes a throwback EV sportscar. But, while the Caterham will likely be designed for fast roads and tracks, the Blaze has a 31 mph top speed from its four-horsepower motor. But it looks cool.
What is the Caterham 7?
In the 1950s Lotus Cars head Colin Chapman created the ultimate, tiny, light, sportscar. He called it the Seven. It was a bare-bones car, with basically no creature comforts, not even a top. Instead, it was all engine, and suspension, and carried a lightweight body made of aluminum. What is the Caterham 7?
But, Lotus stopped making the cars in 1973 and sold the rights to the design to Caterham. Caterham has made the cars since then, selling them with a variety of engines and a variety of packages, but the cars have remained true to their mission. Even today, they still have plastic side curtains, not windows, to keep the wind and rain out. They’re low, they ride harshly, and they only seat two.
In England, you can buy one at a dealer. In America, you need to build a Caterham yourself.
For America, the company sells them as kit cars or local dealers will assemble one and sell you a completed car. Most of the cars you see in the U.S. were assembled by a dealer. Though a Super Seven may not even have air conditioning, expect to pay more than $40,000 for a clean used one.
SuperFormance, which is a company known for making Cobra replicas, assembles Caterhams in the U.S. Caterham has said the new Super Seven 2000 will come to the U.S., possibly to new dealers. The car will come with more amenities, a small Suzuki four-cylinder engine or a Ford Duratec four-cylinder. But because these cars are so light, they can still keep with a Corvette to 60 mph.