CATERHAM, THE BOUTIQUE British carmaker, has revealed that is in the midst of developing a range of electric and hybrid powertrains for its lineup of open-topped sports cars.
But don't expect to see a hybrid Caterham in the company's catalogue just yet: Caterham says it will most likely debut the fuel-saving technology in motorsports before applying it to road cars.
Caterham chief Ansar Ali revealed the carmaker's alternative-fuel ambitions at the Tokyo Motor Show this week, saying that the company wanted to establish a one-make race series with the cars to test the technology. Production of a road-going variant could begin as early as 2012.
Mr Ali also explained that Caterham would source the hybrid and electric propulsion systems from external suppliers, however he would not reveal exactly which companies were selected for the project.
Ali declined to discuss power outputs either, but said the addition of electric motors and batteries wouldn't affect 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 slated to be unveiled before the end of this year, however it's unclear 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 in 2012.