Caterham developing hybrid/electric models

Caterham developing hybrid/electric models

Caterham R500

Caterham has recently revealed that it’s into development of a range of electric and hybrid powertrains for its range of open-topped sports cars.

But a hybrid Caterham isn’t expected to enter the company’s catalogue for sometime yet. Caterham is apparently looking to debut the fuel-saving technology in motorsports before applying it to road cars.

Caterham big cheese Ansar Ali revealed the carmaker’s alternative-fuel ambitions at the Tokyo Motor Show last week, saying that the company wanted to start up a one-make race series with the cars to test the technology. Production of a road-going vehicle may begin as early as 2012.

Mr Ali also stated that Caterham would source the hybrid and electric propulsion systems from external suppliers, but he wouldn’t reveal the suppliers that had contracts for the project.

Ali declined to give a statement on power outputs either, but said the addition of electric motors and batteries wouldn’t slow the Caterham’s performance. The electric drive motors and batteries are expected to weigh roughly the same amount as the petrol engines and gearboxes used by Caterham’s current petrol-powered range.

A prototype is expected to be unveiled before the end of this year, but there is no word on when Caterham plans to start up its one-make EV race series. Should the race car’s development go well, road-legal variants could be on sale as early as 2012.

Caterham R500

Caterham has recently revealed that it’s into development of a range of electric and hybrid powertrains for its range of open-topped sports cars.

But a hybrid Caterham isn’t expected to enter the company’s catalogue for sometime yet. Caterham is apparently looking to debut the fuel-saving technology in motorsports before applying it to road cars.

Caterham big cheese Ansar Ali revealed the carmaker’s alternative-fuel ambitions at the Tokyo Motor Show last week, saying that the company wanted to start up a one-make race series with the cars to test the technology. Production of a road-going vehicle may begin as early as 2012.

Mr Ali also stated that Caterham would source the hybrid and electric propulsion systems from external suppliers, but he wouldn’t reveal the suppliers that had contracts for the project.

Ali declined to give a statement on power outputs either, but said the addition of electric motors and batteries wouldn’t slow the Caterham’s performance. The electric drive motors and batteries are expected to weigh roughly the same amount as the petrol engines and gearboxes used by Caterham’s current petrol-powered range.

A prototype is expected to be unveiled before the end of this year, but there is no word on when Caterham plans to start up its one-make EV race series. Should the race car’s development go well, road-legal variants could be on sale as early as 2012.

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