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Ian Callum’s off-road plaything

5 months ago

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Writer:

Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder

Date:

23 November 2023

Well, who saw this coming when Ian Callum left his design director role at Jaguar after 20 years to set up on his own? Not me. Mind you, nor did I foresee the lounge chair finished in smoked eucalyptus veneer or the martini mixer that his CALLUM design and engineering consultancy has produced since being founded in 2019.

The Skye electric off-roader is CALLUM’s first vehicle conceived, designed and engineered in-house, and I’m itching to have a go.

Ian Callum’s off-road plaything

Apparently it belongs to the ‘compact multi-terrain vehicle segment’. Think Ariel Nomad, the Morgan Plus Four CX-T, some sort of Polaris, a Can-Am or two and who knows what else. Off-road playthings, in other words, also known as some of the most entertaining driving machines on the planet. Unlike most of those the Skye has a closed cabin and 2+2 seating, making it far more usable, but it’s still shorter in length than a Vauxhall Corsa.

Ian Callum’s off-road plaything

It’s all-wheel drive and all-electric, and features ‘trail-capable’ suspension with ‘appropriate’ ground clearance. So it’s designed to cover rough terrain at speed, as the very knobbly BFGoodrich tyres suggest. CALLUM hasn’t said what the power output will be, but we do know the car weighs 1150kg and will sprint to 60mph within four seconds. Properly rapid, then. I would guess up to 300bhp. The battery capacity is 42kWh, giving a range of 170 miles or so.

Ian Callum’s off-road plaything

That also explains why the car is relatively light, at least by EV standards. As an aside, the Skye and the gorgeous Caterham Project V, which weighs less than 1200kg, prove that driver-centric electric cars needn’t weigh as much as a large island off the west coast of Scotland. While the Skye is clearly configured for off-road driving, it will still be comfortable in normal use and fun to drive on the road, we’re told.

Ian Callum’s off-road plaything

I asked Ian Callum, who’s been writing for The Intercooler for a year and a half, to tell me more about the car. He said the two key principles behind it are fun and elegant design (how many off-road recreational vehicles are concerned with the latter?) and that it should sit within its own space in the market. He also wants it to be just as at home in fields as it is on urban roads. Price? No word yet, but bespoke machines like this don’t cost buttons.

Ian Callum’s off-road plaything

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