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Famous designer’s new project is a luxurious all-terrain electric car

The Callum Skye has been revealed as an all-terrain luxury electric vehicle (EV) from famed automotive designer Ian Callum. 

The Skye was revealed in a video showing the futuristic off-roader jumping from the streets of New York City to meandering mountain roads and snowy slopes.

The compact all-wheel-drive electric SUV will be optimised for the most extreme conditions adventurous off-road drivers can find, but is also set to be homologated for the road after prototypes begin testing at the start of next year. 

Designed and engineered entirely in-house by the Warwick-based firm, the high-riding model named for the rocky Scottish island will be ultra-limited – potentially to fewer than 50 units a year. 

Callum is a boutique design and engineering firm founded by Scotsman Ian Callum – a renowned automotive designer with models such as the Aston Martin DB7 and Vanquish to his name.

A 2+2 layout in the cabin encapsulates driver and passengers in an interior which the brand says is driven by driver experience, simplicity, and sustainability. 

“It has been designed to exceed expectations: minimal mass, maximum capability – exceptionally usable and an absolute joy to drive,” Ian Callum said on the Skye. 

Somewhat resembling the Odyssey 21 electric rally SUV raced in the Extreme E electric rally championship, the Callum Skye has a deeply hollowed side ‘accent loop’ flanked by pronounced, shelf-like shoulders. 

An expansive glass windshield stretches into a sunroof reaching right back to the rear end, while there are convex windows that further enhance this one-piece visual effect.

With only two doors and a dramatically raked roofline, it’s clear the model’s 2+2 configuration prioritises driver experience rather than passenger comfort or interior space.

Emphasis has been placed on making the vehicle as lightweight as possible using carbon fibre elements – it is expected to weigh less than 1150kg. 

A 42kWh lithium-ion battery pack will deliver a claimed range of around 275km. 

Callum claims the SUV can make the 0 to 100km/h sprint in under four seconds. 

The Skye is described by the firm as a “high-performance multi-terrain electric vehicle, created for discerning owners seeking extraordinary on- and off-road adventures.” 

At just over four metres long, the Skye Callum is a very compact 4WD comparable in size to models such as the Jeep Avenger. 

Callum’s engineering director, Adam Donfrancesco, says the firm has created a ‘versatile vehicle’ that is not only visually impressive but exceeds ‘uncompromisingly high functional targets’.  

Mr Donfrancesco confirmed that the space frame linked with carbon-fibre joints is a design unique to Callum – it will be partnered with fully independent, equally weighted suspension available in two specifications to prioritise either off-road or paved driving. 

David Fairbairn, Callum’s managing director, is confident the team has been able to address a void in the market with an off-road EV that ‘doesn’t have an environmental impact’. 

Pricing hasn’t been confirmed, but interested customers can expect a luxury price tag to match the bespoke, handcrafted nature of the vehicle. 

Ian Callum sat down with CarExpert back in 2020 to talk about his varied career in the car industry and his connection to Australia through Ford and Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), plus his time at Jaguar.

Speaking on the Jaguar I-Pace’s proportions, Mr Callum said “I didn’t want it to look like an SUV. SUVs tend to be very vertical, and I wanted this to have length. What I discovered is if you lift it high, if you have a certain dynamic it still looks like a car as opposed to an SUV.” 

Although the Skye has impressive ride height and wheel clearance, the model channels the sentiment above with its compact, coupe-esque silhouette. 

MORE: Q&A with Ian Callum: Part 1
MORE: Q&A with Ian Callum: Part 2


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