Singaporean startup, Catalyst Motors, have begun working on a hand-built prototype of a sports car and aim to have it on the road by 2023. The company is looking to break into the local automotive manufacturing industry with their two-door classic sports car.
The company was founded in 2014 by Singaporean Mr Lionel Lau, and American entrepreneur, Anthony Parks. Both have poured in funding into Catalyst Motors, and together have invested a few million in the venture so far. As the company scales up, they intend to look for suitable partners to bring on board.
Currently, the local firm is in its final stages of hand-building the rolling chassis. The drivable chassis will be completed within two to three months, although it will not have a body shell. This modular chassis system will be used to manufacture two other types of cars– an SUV crossover and a supercar.
Other companies that have utilised modular chassis platforms include Volkswagen’s MQB platform, upon which cars like the Audi Q3 and Volkswagen Golf are built on.
Assembled by hand, the chassis consists of aircraft and automotive-grade aluminium parts, which are custom-fabricated to the company’s specifications. Rather than outsourcing the manufacturing, Mr Lau and Mr Parks opted to have the car manufactured locally, with the company comprising of 30 staff with consultants based in Italy, China and Britain.
Explaining the benefits of having a modular platform, Mr Lau said, “This is our intellectual property. The modular platform also allows different powertrains to be installed, including an electric one, which we are currently developing.”
Catalyst Motors have brought on board three National University of Singapore (NUS) engineers — Mr Lim Hong Wee, 37, Mr Hozefa Husainee, 32, and Mr Kenneth Neo Kang Wei, 32, as part of an ongoing agreement between the company and the university.
The instructors head NUS’ engineering faculty’s Engineering Design and Innovation Centre and have experience in designing race cars. They are also involved in NUS’ Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) race car project, which builds a Formula-style race car for the annual Formula SAE Michigan competition.
However, their priority in Catalyst Motors is building a commercially viable car, factoring durability, large scale manufacturing and ease of assembly.