Ian Callum’s name has been all over the mobility world since the famous designer left his role as head of Jaguar design in 2019. The Prodrive BRX T1, an off-roader created to compete in the 2021 Dakar Rally, was one of the first outings for his independent consultancy. The company returns to a similar playground with the Callum Skye, a battery-electric 2+2 off-roader that’s the first clean-sheet in-house creation to be sold under the consultancy’s own brand. Scheduled to begin prototype testing early next year and to go on sale in 2025, Ian Callum said of it, “We always intended to do our own car, and we’ve gone for this concept because it is not a sports car.”
Although the Skye might not be a sports car, it’s intended to be sporty and versatile. Around 160 inches long and 74.8 inches wide, it’s about seven inches shorter than a two-door Jeep Wrangler and an inch wider. The 42-kWh battery and unspecified electric motors making nearly 300 horsepower deliver all-wheel drive, an estimated 0-60 mph time under four seconds, and an estimated 170 miles of WLTP range. Hitting the target weight of 2,535 pounds would keep the EV nearly 1,500 pounds under that two-door Jeep. An available suspension option providing 13.7 inches of ground clearance and 21.7 inches of travel would get the Skye through obstacles that would give the Jeep pause. Customers who don’t plan to test the capabilities can choose a tamer suspension suited for trails and gravel roads.
It’s not all about the wilderness. Callum said the Skye’s being engineered to “have an off-road ability which is not too far from some of the ultimate off-roaders.” At the same time, “Our intention is to homologate the Skye so it can be used on public roads.” Removable wheel arch extensions necessary to make the Skye road legal have already been conceived.
Among the novelties, engineers inserted “carbon-fiber links” in some of the metal-on-metal joints. There are transparent panels all over the composite cabin; the rear window can be removed, the windows in the lower door make it easier for occupants to spot the ideal line when off-road. A second battery option can be fully recharged in ten minutes, the result of a partnership between Callum and English battery outfit Nyobolt. Right now, the two companies “are collaborating on a demonstration of new lithium-ion battery tech that would permit the full charge of a vehicle in about six minutes.”
We don’t know what the cabin looks like yet, Callum only saying, “The interior will be simple, but we are not going to hold back on ensuring it has a sense of quality.” An easy day’s work for a man whose résumé counts a run of luxury specials from the Aston Martin DB7 to the Jaguar i-Pace.
Eventual production is planned at a pace of one per week in Callum’s factory in Warwick, England, the UK price around £100,000 ($126,300 U.S.). Homologation for U.S. roads is under consideration but not guaranteed.