Caterham says its next new model will be designed online by the public using an innovative new website.

Users will be able to log on to www.splitwheel.com to submit ideas and concepts for a stable mate to the Seven.

The Surrey sports car maker will lend its own expertise and, once the specification is agreed, Caterham has committed to build a prototype of the car.>>Read our first drive of the Caterham R500

“We are thrilled to be involved in what we believe to be the world’s first project of this type,” says Caterham boss Ansar Ali.

The experiment, which starts in January, is a collaboration with internet firm Project Splitwheel. They want to build a user-generated, Wikipedia-style database of car information and ideas.

Will Powell