Saturday, February 18, 2012
Report: Caterham working up all-new sportscar
There's little question that Caterham is on the rise. The British automaker may still be known primarily for building continuation models of the classic Lotus Seven, but under the new ownership of AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes, it is expanding in a big way.
The company teamed up with Lola for the SP/300.R, one of the only vehicles Caterham has ever made that was not based on the Seven. Caterham now also has its own F1 team, and has promoted the team's technical director Mike Gascoyne - a longtime F1 engineer and chassis designer - as chief technical officer for the entire group, overseeing the road car division, the advanced composites operation, the new R&D center and the motorsport division.
That's not all, though. Caterham has been rumored to be working on a new model line - to be developed and built in-house completely separate from the Seven and SP/300.R - details of which are just beginning to emerge. Although Caterham has reportedly considered going mid-engine with its new model, it is likely to stick with the traditional front-engine, rear-drive setup, with a monocoque chassis built around an F1-style tub, but likely not made of carbon fiber.
Caterham is reportedly intent on keeping both price and weight to a minimum, but the new model is being designed with more creature comforts than its existing stablemates. Both coupe and convertible versions are envisioned from the outset, and while powertrain is still being negotiated with potential suppliers, a supercharged version could be in the cards as well. Discussions are repprtedly also underway with various design studios, but one thing's for sure: this one won't be designed by Colin Chapman.Permalink | Email this | Comments