Caterham Cars has recently revealed their latest chassis for the Seven model, which has been developed with help from bicycle tube manufacturer Reynolds Technology and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) consultancy company Simpact.
This was all to hold true to the company’s core values – lightweight is the way. The triumvirate has managed to deliver the first ever car chassis that deploys butted tubing technology derived from bicycle production and the method has resulted in a successful weight drop of more than 10 percent. Reynolds Technology was in charge of technology for the ambitious project and the experts there were also responsible for the creation of the new but necessary tooling and processes. Meanwhile Simpact Engineering took charge in working out the virtual analysis and they ran tests to gather the needed information in order to have Caterham produce the first prototype.
The Reynolds process for making butted tubes was invented back in 1897 and Caterham Seven engineers used it order to build the chassis with low-cost mild steel instead of more expensive alloys with no loss in terms of chassis’ torsional stiffness or strength – but with 50 percent weight saving. Caterham said it will continue to develop the chassis on the prototype vehicle and will decide later if it will produce a production version – which will be used as a version to the regular Seven as it will cost about £1,000 to £2,000 more.