Caterham today launched a new road car project, the AeroSeven Concept at the Singapore Grand Prix as it pushes ahead with its ambition to build links between its F1 team and its road cars.
The idea is for the first AeroSeven models to be delivered to customers at the end of 2014. This is not the car being developed in conjunction with Renault’s Alpine brand. That car is scheduled to be launched in 2016. This is a development of the existing Seven CSR platform.
The car is powered by a two litre, Ford-derived 237hp engine, with a 0-100km/h time of four seconds. It draws on learnings from the F1 team, with input from performance director John Iley. The team boasts that the car has had extensive development work in the wind tunnel to get the balance between downforce and drag.
Team owner Tony Fernandes said that he needs Caterham to be at least a midfield team for Caterham to benefit fully from the F1 association. He admitted that Caterham F1 team had a bad year in 2012 and tried to grow too quickly and that this year has been about “back to basics”.
Fernandes’ plan is to target the Asian market with affordable sports cars and also to develop an affordable motorsport ladder using products derived from F1 engineering links.
“I want people in Asia and the UK to be able to have a little race car and be able to go around the tracks which are available,” said Fernandes. “We want to make racing affordable and make F1 technology accessible.
“Right now it’s all high-end; McLaren, Ferrari there are few people who can afford that. My mantra is to try to make things affordable and accessible.”