Now that Caterham has been acquired by Japanese retail group VT Holdings, which is an importer of the sports car, the company has access to funds necessary to safeguard its future. Even a niche manufacturer such as Caterham can't be immune to electrification as the low-volume British brand has to meet increasingly stringent emissions regulations.
An electric model is inevitable, and a new report from Autocar claims the official reveal is scheduled to take place in 2023 when Caterham is going to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Believed to be called the "EV Seven," the new zero-emissions model will follow the same ethos as the conventionally powered cars by keeping weight down to a minimum.
Gallery: Caterham Seven SuperSprint Revealed At Goodwood
Needless to say, adding batteries will certainly make the electric sports car heavier than today's petrol-fuelled machines. However, the report claims Caterham's engineers will eschew regenerative braking and other similar features associated with EVs in order to shave off as much fat as possible. The open-wheel design will be carried over as the EV Seven aims to be a back-to-basics sports car as the traditional models.
Technical specifications are not available for the time being, but it's believed the company's first EV will be just as quick to 60 mph as the 620R, so expect the sprint to take less than three seconds. Caterham needs to find a supplier for the electric motor and batteries, which will be tailor-made to better fit the EV Seven rather than simply being an off-the-shelf solution.
Caterham CEO Graham Macdonald revealed in an interview with Autocar he had the opportunity to drive a prototype, describing it "much like a go-kart" with "rapid acceleration." A track-only version is already on the agenda, one that would be equipped with fast-charging capabilities and even a swappable battery.
The EV Seven is unlikely to be much larger than the current crop of models and it's also not going to be more comfortable either as it will stay true to Caterham's heritage by making the sporty driving experience the top priority.