Rumours about a battery-powered Caterham have been circulating the internet for years but there’s finally official evidence that the automaker is actually working on such a product. The company presents its EV Seven concept that follows the same basic recipe as the rest of the models from the Seven lineup but replaces the combustion engine with a purely electric powertrain.
Helping Caterham with the development is Swindon Powertrain, which provides the electric motor and its auxiliary components. The peak power of the system is 240 bhp and 184 pound-feet of instantaneous torque. The 0-60 miles per hour acceleration takes approximately 4.0 seconds but there’s no word about the vehicle’s top speed.
Gallery: Caterham EV Seven
Caterham envisions the electric Seven as a track toy, which should be capable of 20-minute drive sessions followed by 15-minute charging sessions and another 20 minutes of track fun. You’d probably be tempted to say a BEV isn’t ideal for track use but Caterham says the concept weighs just around 70 kilograms (154 pounds) more than the Seven 485. The total vehicle mass is just under 700 kg (1,543 lbs).
Providing the electric energy is a 51-kilowatt-hour battery with a usable capacity of around 40 kWh. The firm says the battery has a larger buffer than on a normal EV in order for the pack to safely withstand demanding track use followed by rapid charging. Speaking of charging, the peak DC charging power the EV Seven can support is up to 152 kilowatts.
The electric Caterham benefits from hardware upgrades borrowed from the Seven 420 Cup, too. These include a limited-slip differential and adjustable Bilstein dampers. Other important novelties for a Seven are the regenerative braking and quad-piston brake calipers.
Unfortunately, Caterham says it has no plans to put this electric vehicle into production. Instead, it will use it as “a test bed to see how well an EV powertrain works for our customers’ specific use cases.” The EV Seven will make its public debut during this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. Another electric Caterham concept will be revealed later this year.