Caterham shows lightweight electric sports car for 2026

Caterham has captured the spotlight at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with the introduction of its striking Project V concept. This electric sports coupé represents Caterham’s vision for a potential production model, slated for release as early as 2026 at an annual rate of approximately 2000 units.

A Modern Electric Sports Coupé

Unlike its minimalist sibling, the Seven, the Project V concept is designed as a “small tourer” prioritizing simplicity, lightweight construction, and an enjoyable driving experience. While it doesn’t replace the Seven, it embodies the essence of the Caterham brand as it transitions into the electric era.

Everyday Utility and Performance

The Project V concept aims to offer practicality and convenience alongside its sporty characteristics. With a targeted real-world range of 249 miles, it provides enough space for weekend getaways and includes amenities such as air conditioning and basic touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay connectivity. Comparable to cars like the Alpine A110 and Mazda MX-5, the Project V is designed to seamlessly fit into daily life.

Powerful and Agile

Propelled by a single permanent magnet synchronous motor, the Project V generates 268bhp, delivering a claimed 0-62mph time of under 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 143mph. These performance figures position the Project V as a versatile sports coupé, suitable for both spirited driving and everyday use.

Lightweight Design and Advanced Technology

Achieving a target weight of 1190kg remains a critical goal for the Project V. The concept car currently weighs around 100kg more, but Caterham aims to bridge this gap through the use of composite body panels, an advanced spaceframe, lightweight drivetrain components, and a thoughtfully curated equipment list.

Innovative Battery Placement

The Project V features two lithium-ion battery packs with a combined usable capacity of 55kWh. These packs are strategically positioned separately under the rear seat and dashboard, allowing for optimal weight distribution and interior space utilization. The layout also enables the front seats to be placed close to the floor, similar to traditional mid-engined sports cars.

Partnership and Future Production

While the batteries and powertrain elements are yet to be sourced, Caterham plans to partner with a third-party supplier, aligning with their historical approach to engines, switchgear, and chassis components. Caterham aims to maintain its production within the UK and is actively exploring potential partnerships, including seeking support from government institutions.

Global Ambitions

Caterham, recognized as a British sports car brand, has a global presence, exporting more Seven models than it sells within the UK. This trend is set to continue with the production version of the Project V, which Caterham intends to sell in the United States. This reinforces the car’s status as a truly global product.

Design Insights from Anthony Jannarelly

The design of the Project V was entrusted to Anthony Jannarelly, renowned for his work on the Design-1 sports car. Drawing inspiration from the Lotus Elan and the Lotus 40 racer, Jannarelly aimed to create a modern interpretation with a minimalist silhouette. The Project V’s design adheres to the principle of closely following the chassis, mirroring the distinctive and functional aesthetic of the Caterham Seven.

A Profitable Business Case and New Market Appeal

Caterham’s CEO, Bob Laishley, believes that the Project V concept holds a profitable business case. With the goal of expanding their customer base, Caterham aims to sell more than the 500 cars it currently produces annually. The projected production volume for the Project V starts at 2000 units per year, and the company plans to grow from there.

Laishley emphasizes the emotional aspect of purchasing a sports car, highlighting that customers are driven by subjective factors rather than objective comparisons. He stresses the significance of focusing on the unique attributes and experience offered by the Project V, rather than fixating on direct pricing and product comparisons.


Caterham’s Project V concept represents the brand’s foray into the world of electric sports coupés. With its emphasis on lightweight design, everyday utility, and enjoyable driving dynamics, the Project V aims to capture the hearts of enthusiasts while appealing to a broader customer base. Caterham’s commitment to maintaining its production within the UK and its global ambitions showcase the brand’s determination to evolve and adapt to the electric era while remaining true to its core values.

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Renée Bourke

Renée has carried out many celebrity interviews for us from boybands to hanging backstage at showbiz parties. The Aussie stars acting credits include Home and Away + Across The Pond.


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