British sports car maker Caterham is moving into the world of motorbikes.
The company, best-known for its affordable, retro-inspired two-seater the Seven, has unveiled three prototype bike designs at the International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan. And they look stunning.
First up is the Brutus 750, a burly off-roader that the company describes as "the SUV of motorbikes" and as "surprisingly nimble to ride"; the world's first motorcycle with an automatic transmission, it can be ridden on almost any terrain – it even (after a four-hour conversion) works as a snowmobile. Then there are two all-electric models: the Carbon E-Bike (made of F1-style carbon fibre) and the Classic E-Bike (which evokes the golden age of motoring in much the same way as the Seven, and will have a range of 25-50 miles on a full charge).
While these designs are only concepts at this stage, Caterham claims that it has serious long-term plans for bike. The company has started up a new division dedicated to two-wheeled motoring, and says the Brutus 750 will go into production in early 2014, with the two electric models following later in the year. We can't wait.