Caterham Cars may have built a name for itself by continuing production of the vaulted Seven long after Lotus Cars grew wary of the design, but it appears the firm may once again have aspirations to build a new sports car design.
Autocar says the British sports car specialist will unveil an new model at the annual Autosport International trade show, which takes place next month in Birmingham, England. According to the British publication, the new Caterham won’t be yet another special-edition variant of the evergreen Seven, but an all-new model that “stays true” to the lithe, minimalist spirit of the current roadster.
Rumors of a new Caterham model first surfaced back in 2008, when the company became involved with Project Splitwheel, a Web venture that promised users a communal chance to help influence — if not design — a new sports car. We highly doubt the new Caterham is tied to the project, which was shelved earlier this year for numerous reasons.
Instead, this new Caterham model is expected to be a track-only offering, which i surprising given the Autosport debut. Presently, the company has no single offering designed expressly for racing, although a number of its models, including the Superlight R300, R400, and R500, are modified for specialized race series.
Although the company has introduced numerous new engines, engineering changes, and trim levels since assuming Seven production in 1973, this new model marks only the second time Caterham has ventured to offer a second model line. In 1994, the company launched the 21, a shapely, modern-looking roadster built around Seven mechanicals. The venture was largely unsuccessful, however; 200 examples were planned but fewer than 50 were actually built.