Callum Skye Aims for EV Adventure, but It’s Also Road-Ready

Jackson Wheeler
7 Min Read

  • Callum Skye EV revealed in prototype form, with the brand launched by designer Ian Callum seeking to deliver off-road and on-road versions of the model.
  • The very compact Skye is set to be powered by a 42-kWh battery, giving it a projected range of 170 miles.
  • The boutique brand is aiming for a niche in the EV market that hasn’t been addressed to date, with a pocket-sized but still rugged EV intended as a unique luxury offering for the trails and for the street.

Ian Callum isn’t the first former Aston Martin and Ford designer to launch a car company under his own name. Henrik Fisker was there first in this very narrow category of ex-Aston and Ford car designers who’ve launched their own brands—bringing us the Fisker Tramonto and Latigo (remember those?) before EVs became commonplace.

But Callum is certainly looking to enter the same field while targeting a narrower EV segment, one that hasn’t really been addressed by other automakers to date.

A compact electric off-road 2+2 is what the company has in mind, with the Callum Skye setting its sights on this narrow category.

Revealed this month, the Callum Skye is billed as a “high-performance multi-terrain” electric vehicle with a fully enclosed cabin. Measuring just 159.3 inches long, nearly identical to the Ford Fiesta hatch, the Skye pairs a trail-capable suspension with plenty of ground clearance and a 42-kWh battery, giving it an estimated range of 170 miles.

Featuring a target weight of 2535 pounds and change, the Skye also aims to be one of the lightest EVs suitable for real-world trail challenges—at least the trail challenges that can be found near a charging station—while also offering 50/50 weight distribution.

The company plans a version biased for on-road use, and also one biased for off-road use.

“The exterior features a striking accent loop, intersected by a strong horizontal structure, flanked by organic forms front and rear,” Ian Callum explains. “It is pared down to a level of necessity and understatement. At the heart of its story is its performance, style, and capability, and a design integral to the engineering elements.”

Combined with a concept car exterior, the Skye also looks like something a Bond villain might use as an escape vehicle in a film that could have been released around the year 2007.

a red sports car parked on the side of a street

Two versions of the Callum Skye are in the works, one more city-friendly than the other.


The performance aspirations are there as well, with the company expecting 0-to-60 mph launches in under four seconds, with city-friendly dimensions also allowing it to be used for the daily commute.

But Callum does not try to present the Skye as a Fisker Ocean competitor. The 4×4 is aimed at a much narrower audience in the EV market, one that is only now beginning to be addressed in the EV sphere, and one that could grow in the coming years as electric models begin to be accepted in the trail adventure lifestyle.

In this regard, it’s easier to contemplate it as a small but trail-friendly EV that also wouldn’t be out of place in a city center, which is likely the goal of this particular design. The company plans a version biased for on-road use, and also one biased for off-road use.

“The Callum Skye addresses a void in the market, endowing discerning owners with a bold, beautifully engineered off-road vehicle that beckons to be enjoyed, giving a sense of fun, freedom, and escapism,” says David Fairbairn, the EV brand’s managing director.

a man standing next to a car that is crashed into a tree

The Skye is intended as a compact adventure EV suitable for off-road use, if not quite a week-long expedition.


At the moment, a planned range of 170 miles also means you’d have to charge pretty close to the trails you’ll be exploring—a reality not ignored by the likes of Rivian, with its Adventure Network. This could change in the coming years, of course, but at the moment the Skye probably isn’t the most natural overlanding choice.

And as its size suggests, the Skye also does not try to be the ideal vehicle for overnight expeditions on trails in national parks as it won’t carry too much gear, but perhaps just enough for a daily getaway.

For now, Callum isn’t revealing production timelines or target pricing for the Skye—for that we’ll have to wait until next year. But it’s clear that plenty of EV startups, including Volkswagen’s Scout and others, are eagerly focused on a larger EV niche carved out by Rivian early on in this decade.

Will there be demand for small, premium EVs of this type in the coming years, or will adventure-seeking EV owners opt for larger offerings from Rivian and others for off-roading? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Headshot of Jay Ramey

Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum. Despite being followed around by French cars for the past decade, he has somehow been able to avoid Citroën ownership, judging them too commonplace, and is currently looking at cars from the former Czechoslovakia. Jay has been with Autoweek since 2013. 

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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