U.K.-based Caterham has confirmed that it is working on an all-new sports car that will not be a variation of the iconic Lotus Seven, marking a big break with the past. The yet-unnamed model is scheduled to bow in 2015 and will be the brand's flagship, sitting above the Seven as a more expensive offering.
In a lot of ways the next Caterham will be the anti-Seven. It will have a fixed roof, fixed doors and be available with creature comforts such as air conditioning and an infotainment system. Caterham wants it to be the kind of sports car that can be comfortably used as a daily driver.
That doesn't mean that the company is building a car that will go head-to-head against the ultra-luxurious Mercedes-Benz CL-Class. With a base price of approximately £40,000 (about $65,000), the upcoming model will be similar in spirit to the Lotus Elise.
"We want to make affordable sports cars. We're going to stay within the areas that we're good at; we know what we're not good at and we're not going anywhere near that. Our cars are going to be raw, they're going to be drivers' cars. We have started with the driving position and worked outwards", said company CEO Ansar Ali in an interview with CAR Magazine.
Caterham is said to be working on three different versions of the car, including a lightweight track-bound model. All of them will be powered by a four-cylinder engine, though a six-cylinder variant might be launched shortly after the car debuts.
To decrease the company's dependence on the depressed European market, the car will be offered on the growing Asian market and a long-awaited entry into the United States is a possibility.
Caterham has not decided where the car's final assembly will take place but several locations in Europe and Asia are under consideration.