SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 6 December 2021 – Homegrown automotive manufacturing start-up, Catalyst Motors, is one step closer to launching its made-in-Singapore sports car after a round of performance testing for its 1960s classic-style two-door sports car held several weeks ago.
Artist impression of Centre of Automobile and Industrial Design
The vehicle was put to a high-speed test in a circuit at Changi Aviation Park to evaluate its road-holding, driving and manoeuvring performance – especially in the areas of structural rigidity and torsional stability.
The firm completed the built of the rolling chassis in 2019, with its frame assembled in-house by hand using aircraft and automotive-grade aluminium. Modular in nature,
Catalyst Motors intended for its rolling chassis design to be easily applied to other types of cars. In addition to the retro-themed sports car, the company intends to build a sport utility vehicle (SUV) and supercar in the future as well.
Founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs Lionel Lau and Anthony Parks, two automotive enthusiasts who have known each other for 22 years, the duo also enlisted the help of three engineering instructors from the National University of Singapore (NUS) — Lim Hong Wee, Hozefa Husainne and Kenneth Neo — who have prior experience in building cars thanks to their involvement in NUS’ Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) race car project.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, plans for the fully private-funded sports car have been slightly derailed, with a shortage of manpower in the automobile manufacturing industry and factories. From the onset, Catalyst Motors envisioned a project team complete with local talent and embarked on a Singaporean-strong plan, curating a bevy of local partners to work with. Catalyst Motors aim to produce a car model that offers personal transportation in both neo-classic and utilitarian forms and is functional with modern personalised connectivity and individual styles and needs, offering owners the opportunity to determine various elements of their vehicle.
- Lytt Labs
Sealing an exclusive partnership with local timepiece label Lytt Labs, whose watch designs will be the inspiration of the vehicle’s dashboard, expect to see elements such as the odometer resembling the dial of Lytt Labs’ signature Inception V1.0 watch.
- Global Dynamics
Helmed by Edwin Seah, an international entrepreneur with a penchant for cars and watches; who also owns Lytt Labs, Global Dynamics, based in China, will be assisting in sourcing suppliers and logistics for Catalyst Motor’s operations.
- Song Wei Teo
An industrial designer with a strong interest and fresh ideas for car designs, Song Wei Teo graduated from Automotive Design at Coventry University, United Kingdom.
Song Wei contributes to Catalyst Motor’s design processes with his belief that a car’s design must be lightweight, employing the practical use of design to enable manufacturing methods and materials to fit form and function – and making them work seamlessly.
Meisterform’ Bryan Wong and Jake Lin specialises in forged wheels manufacturing and lends their expertise to Catalyst Motor’s kinetic and suspension development with their engineering experience in motion symmetry, kinetics and travel-surface telemetry, to facilitate the crucial road-going properties of the vehicles.
- Sound Image Productions
Aaron Koh, concert producer, sound specialist and owner of Sound Image Productions helms Catalyst Motor’s car cabin acoustics and sound design, customising the most optimum sound system in each vehicle.
- Robson Design
An industry veteran with over 25 years of experience and branches in Vietnam and Japan, Robson Design, founded by Tommy Wong, specialises in carbon fibre and interiors for automotive parts and will be supporting Catalyst Motors with the fitting-out of its bespoke vehicles, providing leather, interior finishing and fabrication needs.
- HHT Automation
In Catalyst Motor’s planned intelligent and future-ready production design, Vincent Wong of HHT Automation will consult on the company’s high-tech manufacturing needs through robotics and automation and play an important role for the Centre of Automobile and Industrial Design upon its completion. Production and manufacturing processes will be geared up to suit the fast-changing and evolving engineering landscape of today.
Lionel Lau shares that “durability, manufacturability and ease of assembly when designing a commercial roadworthy car is of utmost importance. We understand the challenges we are going to face and we are prepared to meet them head on as we are confident of the outcome of our project. We are pleased to assemble a truly Singaporean team and with the launch of our vehicle, we hope to be a testament that there’s creative talent everywhere in Singapore, in so many different design and manufacturing disciplines.”
The completed rolling prototype chassis – the integral form of the vehicle’s engineering base, will be sent to Britain in late 2021, to be certified and validated for the next step of its manufacturing progress.
Currently in the pipeline, Catalyst Motors, together with local architects and fabricators, is also working on the development of an automobile focused design and industry outreach facility, the Centre of Automobile and Industrial Design (CAID) by 2023, to promote academic and technical training, co-learning as well as to garner more interest and cultivate talents in the local automotive scene among youths.