New Caterham EV Seven revealed: driver-focused lightweight concept

Caterham's first electric car will make its public debut in July

Known for making ultra-light, stripped out sports cars, Caterham might not seem like the ideal brand for electrification but it’s set out to prove to doubters wrong with the new EV Seven concept. 

Caterham says the concept car will test the feasibility of bringing to market an electric car with as much driver involvement as its petrol counterpart. Bob Laishley, CEO of Caterham, said: “Any future EV model we produce must be true to the DNA of a Caterham: lightweight, fun-to-drive and driver focused. We’re never going to launch a one tonne Seven – we’d rather not do it.”

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The concept certainly looks like a Seven. It has all the traditional elements with a long bonnet, round headlights and open-cockpit. Even the weight hasn’t changed all that much. At just under 700kg, the EV Seven concept weighs 70kg more than the current 485 model.

Underneath the side-opening bonnet is a 40kWh battery, sending 240bhp and 250Nm of torque to the rear through a limited-slip differential. Caterham estimates a 0-62mph time of under four seconds and a top speed over 130mph. 

Caterham has taken a novel approach to charging speeds – stating the EV Seven should be able to drive on track for 20 minutes, recharge in 15 minutes and then go out for another 20 minutes. 

Suspension comes courtesy of the Bilstein adjustable coilover set up found in the 420 Cup. There are 13-inch wheels, which cover ventilated discs and four-piston calipers. 

The EV Seven may never see the road, however. “We do not have plans to put EV Seven into production at this stage – it’s a test bed to see how well an EV powertrain works for our customers’ specific use cases.” Said Laishley. 

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