Independent rear suspension

Independent rear suspension

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W11PEL

666 posts

127 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
A Caterham weighs circa 550kg

The very essence of the car is its drive chain. I have to concede that the car will not lend itself to being EV propelled.

The battery will have to go somewhere and it will be heavy and invariably in the wrong place. The motor will be at the front and will be lighter than an a Sigma/Duratec. Maybe in the future a motor can go in each wheel. But then we have unsprung weight etc..

Then we have what makes the Caterham so much fun. The engine and box. The urgency of how it all works and delivers such pleasure as a pure driving machine. I'm sorry but a single speed silent Caterham is about as scintillating as a wet weekend in Bognor.

So the future is unfortunately bleak. Hopefully these new synthetic carbon neutral fuels will allow the Seven to soldier on with an ICE.

Morgan have a chassis that will take EV a lot easier. However again really, what's the point? For a Citroen people carrier shopping car then fine. For a Morgan/Caterham? I'll leave it thanks. The magic will have been gone..


braddo

7,504 posts

152 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
The future in 10-20 years might be looking bleak but:

- that still leaves at least a decade in which a Caterham as we know it can be bought new, and
- if every other car in the 2030s is like a Tesla 3, an electric Caterham (or Morgan 3 wheeler) will still feel like a purist breath of fresh air and a source of driving enjoyment. An e-Caterham is not an appealing prospect today but it will be in 15 years' time.

Equus

10,831 posts

65 months

Thursday 25th February
quotequote all
braddo said:
An e-Caterham is not an appealing prospect today but it will be in 15 years' time.
Actually, I quite like the idea.
  • We've had electric go-karts for decades, and everyone seems to think they're good fun.
  • It's not as if many people do long journeys in these cars, so range isn't that critical.
  • They'd be absolute monsters for hillclimbing and sprinting, with all that instant torque.
  • If it's not masked by the blare of a loud exhaust, you should be able to hear the tyres talking to you better, when cornering hard.
  • The idea of being able to drive quickly through the countryside whilst hearing more of what's going on around you, and without pissing people off and scaring horses with a popping and banging exhaust is quite appealing.
Packaging a 'Seven' for electric is really quite easy. Martin Ogilvie did it with the composite monocoque Westfield WiSPER back in the 1990's (that's 30 years ago, folks - about time Caterham woke up and smelled the coffee?):



...and then there was the Bertone Blitz, back in 1992, which weighed in at only 650kg, including batteries, despite having full bodywork and those batteries being ancient lead-acid technology:


All it needs is for someone to tell Caterham that they're going to have to be in it, to win it... cos they don't seem to have registered that fact, yet.

PH User

17,331 posts

72 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
You obviously don't like Caterhams, but that's fine as there is plenty of other cars to choose from.

Glug69

65 posts

86 months

Friday 26th February
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I don't see that he doesn't like Caterhams from his posts, just that he doesn't have rose tinted glasses about them, let's be honest, they are great fun cars, but they haven't really developed the platform very much, and before you say I don't like them, I think they are great, but recognise they have shortcomings.

PH User

17,331 posts

72 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
I think it's the constant negative comments that suggest that he doesn't like them.

Equus

10,831 posts

65 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
PH User said:
You obviously don't like Caterhams...
Glug69 said:
... just that he doesn't have rose tinted glasses about them....
This.

I don't do unequivocal hero worship or drooling fanboi-ism. Sorry if that distresses you.

I've owned a Caterham, driven many others, and owned or driven many of their competitors (I used to do suspension set-up - for sprints and hillclimb, mainly - and a bit of writing for the mags, back in the day). They're a good car, but they're not so outstanding as many people who have only experienced Caterhams in this niche of the market would have you believe.

I'm not so naive as to think that any marque is perfect. If you were to ask what car I was into above any other, I'd probably tell you the Lotus Elan, but that's not to say I couldn't reel off a list of faults and flaws as long as your arm on those, too.

Caterhams are fine cars, but the reactionary conservatism of the company (and perhaps more importantly, their customer base) has always been a problem, and with the death of ICE it's likely to become a critical one for them unless they get their act together very quickly indeed.

braddo

7,504 posts

152 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
I think the negative posters are also missing the point that Caterham are selling what their customers want to buy.

The CSR is a little bit like the 928 for Porsche - technically better, more modern etc but the company's customers preferred the existing 'old' model.

Caterham don't need to rush into electric and they have confirmed publicly it's something they have worked on. Why would they give a st if other people have built one-off electric lightweight prototypes that never sold?

Oh no, I shouldn't have used a question mark; rhetorical question; don't answer!

PH User

17,331 posts

72 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
Equus said:
PH User said:
You obviously don't like Caterhams...
Glug69 said:
... just that he doesn't have rose tinted glasses about them....
This.

I don't do unequivocal hero worship or drooling fanboi-ism. Sorry if that distresses you.

I've owned a Caterham, driven many others, and owned or driven many of their competitors (I used to do suspension set-up - for sprints and hillclimb, mainly - and a bit of writing for the mags, back in the day). They're a good car, but they're not so outstanding as many people who have only experienced Caterhams in this niche of the market would have you believe.

I'm not so naive as to think that any marque is perfect. If you were to ask what car I was into above any other, I'd probably tell you the Lotus Elan, but that's not to say I couldn't reel off a list of faults and flaws as long as your arm on those, too.

Caterhams are fine cars, but the reactionary conservatism of the company (and perhaps more importantly, their customer base) has always been a problem, and with the death of ICE it's likely to become a critical one for them unless they get their act together very quickly indeed.
It doesn't distress me, it's just a car, so let's try and keep this sensible. I would be surprised if anyone thought that any car was perfect, especially a Caterham. But like has been said, Caterham sell what people want, or at least enough to make a very successful business for them. As for the death of petrol engines, well that's some way off yet, is there even a date for that? When they have to, they will likely go hybrid. I personally wouldn't want an electric car, but maybe they will also go down that route too.

Equus

10,831 posts

65 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
PH User said:
...Caterham sell what people want, or at least enough to make a very successful business for them.
At the moment...

PH User said:
As for the death of petrol engines, well that's some way off yet, is there even a date for that?
2030, so 9 years from now.

That's really not long at all, in terms of the time and investment required to produce a new model of car from scratch (and, in Caterham's case, find a substantially new customer base to sell it to).

Have you heard of the concept of forward planning? If you haven't, don't worry too much, because from all available evidence neither have Caterham.

Edited by Equus on Friday 26th February 20:23

PH User

17,331 posts

72 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
Equus said:
[
PH User said:
...Caterham sell what people want, or at least enough to make a very successful business for them.
At the momen...

PH User said:
As for the death of petrol engines, well that's some way off yet, is there even a date for that?
2030, so 9 years from now.

That's really not long at all, in terms of the time and investment required to produce a new model of car from scratch (and, in Caterham's case, find a substantially new customer base to sell it to).

Have you heard of the concept of forward planning? If you haven't, don't worry too much, because from all available evidence neither have Caterham.
Can we please keep this exchange friendly, thanks.

So 2035 for the end of petrol engines, not too far off then. Unless you know someone on the inside at Caterham, you can't be sure what they are, or aren't doing. I think we can say that they aren't going to be sat around with their fingers in their ears pretending it's not going to happen. Maybe they can modify what they already have, but I don't think they will need a whole new customer base, "petrol heads" will always want fast fun cars.

Equus

10,831 posts

65 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
PH User said:
So 2035 for the end of petrol engines, not too far off then.

the Government said:
Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and vans can be sold if they have the capability to drive a significant distance with zero emissions (for example, plug-in hybrids or full hybrids)
So like I said, 2030 - certainly so far as Caterham's current products are concerned.

PH User said:
Unless you know someone on the inside at Caterham, you can't be sure what they are, or aren't doing. I think we can say that they aren't going to be sat around with their fingers in their ears pretending it's not going to happen.
I'm a member of an organisation called the Niche Vehicle Network; so are Caterham (...and Westfield, and Morgan, and Ariel).

The NVN administers Government funding for vehicle lightweighting and LZEV technologies, on the basis that members receiving such funding publish a brief summary of their work to other members. This gives you a pretty clear picture of who is working in what directions, and from my knowledge of Caterham's recent Government-funded projects, actually, I think we can say that's pretty much exactly what they're doing (in between fking around with ridiculous ideas like their butted tube project with Reynolds).

Don't believe me? Want it straight from the horse's arse mouth?

Caterham's CEO Graham MacDonald said:
engineers are actively monitoring developments in the industry and do not rule out Caterham launching an electric model in the future...

We recognise that the future is electrification but, as you know, we utilise main brand engines. So we’ve used the Suzuki engine, we use the Ford engines just now – so we wouldn’t be naïve enough to think we could develop our own EV powertrain; we’d be looking to use an off-the-shelf package...

... when that comes down to a point where Caterham can talk to, say, Ford or Nissan and say 'can we buy your powertrain and put it in a Caterham?' we’ll be there knocking on their doors.
It's official, folks: Caterham's strategy for dealing with the future of its business is 'let's wait and see'.

In terms of 'naivety': there are plenty of companies out there doing EV conversions of classics; plenty of companies supplying component packages to support them, and the aforementioned Westfield WiSPER had a bespoke engine package designed and manufactured for it without too much trouble back in the '90's (by a company called Gravitron, from Stroud, if you must know). Sounds like the naivety is in MacDonald convincing himself that it can't be done (shades of them developing the deDion because they were convinced they lacked the resources to do a proper IRS... shortly before Westfield proved how easy that was).

Edited by Equus on Friday 26th February 21:06

PH User

17,331 posts

72 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
Equus said:
PH User said:
So 2035 for the end of petrol engines, not too far off then.

the Government said:
Between 2030 and 2035, new cars and vans can be sold if they have the capability to drive a significant distance with zero emissions (for example, plug-in hybrids or full hybrids)
So like I said, 2030 - certainly so far as Caterham's current products are concerned.

PH User said:
Unless you know someone on the inside at Caterham, you can't be sure what they are, or aren't doing. I think we can say that they aren't going to be sat around with their fingers in their ears pretending it's not going to happen.
I'm a member of an organisation called the Niche Vehicle Network; so are Caterham (...and Westfield, and Morgan, and Ariel).

The NVN administers Government funding for vehicle lightweighting and LZEV technologies, on the basis that members receiving such funding publish a brief summary of their work to other members. This gives you a pretty clear picture of who is working in what directions, and from my knowledge of Caterham's recent Government-funded projects, actually, I think we can say that's pretty much exactly what they're doing (in between fking around with ridiculous ideas like their butted tube project with Reynolds).

Don't believe me? Want it straight from the horse's arse mouth?

Caterham's CEO Graham MacDonald said:
engineers are actively monitoring developments in the industry and do not rule out Caterham launching an electric model in the future.

... when that comes down to a point where Caterham can talk to, say, Ford or Nissan and say 'can we buy your powertrain and put it in a Caterham?' we’ll be there knocking on their doors.
It's official, folks: Caterham's strategy for dealing with the future of its business is 'let's wait and see'.
13 more years of petrol certainly isn't long. I would imagine that they will at least be in conversation with suppliers for hybrid and full electric tech, or at least we all hope so. I guess the issue is that currently there probably isn't anything suitable. Who knows, but nobody will want to see a British brand go under.

Equus

10,831 posts

65 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
PH User said:
13 more years of petrol certainly isn't long. I would imagine that they will at least be in conversation with suppliers for hybrid and full electric tech...
It's longer than the 9 years that they actually have.

And you can imagine all you like: I've just quoted their CEO telling you that they're not.

PH User

17,331 posts

72 months

Friday 26th February
quotequote all
Equus said:
PH User said:
13 more years of petrol certainly isn't long. I would imagine that they will at least be in conversation with suppliers for hybrid and full electric tech...
It's longer than the 9 years that they actually have.

And you can imagine all you like: I've just quoted their CEO telling you that they're not.
CEOs don't always tell the whole truth, that's bad for business.

Equus

10,831 posts

65 months

Saturday 27th February
quotequote all
PH User said:
CEOs don't always tell the whole truth, that's bad for business.
As I said, it correlates completely with what I know myself, via Niche Vehicle Network.

...and hardly 'bad for business' to assure your customers and shareholders that you're planning for the future and will stand some chance of still being around 10 years hence.

You seem to be grasping desperately at straws, in order to maintain your state of denial?.

PH User

17,331 posts

72 months

Saturday 27th February
quotequote all
Equus said:
PH User said:
CEOs don't always tell the whole truth, that's bad for business.
As I said, it correlates completely with what I know myself, via Niche Vehicle Network.

...and hardly 'bad for business' to assure your customers and shareholders that you're planning for the future and will stand some chance of still being around 10 years hence.

You seem to be grasping desperately at straws, in order to maintain your state of denial?.
I just know that we won't know everything thats all.

Equus

10,831 posts

65 months

Saturday 27th February
quotequote all
PH User said:
I just know that we won't know everything thats all.
Ah, the conspiracy theory approach?

Never mind what's there for you to plainly see... man never landed on the moon, Princess Diana was assassinated by the British Royal Family, the Twin Towers were blown up by the CIA, and Caterham is about to launch a top-secret, world-beating EV onto an unsuspecting market and blow the Tesla Roadster into the weeds?

Well, whatever gets you off, I suppose. smile


PH User

17,331 posts

72 months

Saturday 27th February
quotequote all
Equus said:
PH User said:
I just know that we won't know everything thats all.
Ah, the conspiracy theory approach?

Never mind what's there for you to plainly see... man never landed on the moon, Princess Diana was assassinated by the British Royal Family, the Twin Towers were blown up by the CIA, and Caterham is about to launch a top-secret, world-beating EV onto an unsuspecting market and blow the Tesla Roadster into the weeds?

Well, whatever gets you off, I suppose. smile
If you say so

Equus

10,831 posts

65 months

Saturday 27th February
quotequote all
PH User said:
If you say so
Well, seriously: what would it take to stop get you to stop posting gnomic 'wisdom' and accept reality?

There is plain evidence from the organisation that would have provided funding for any development; there is a direct statement from the CEO of the company. What more do you want?

This discussion is becoming frankly ridiculous.