News : Caterham and Renault join forces

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Keith Adams

Renault has announced that it is extending its partnership with the Caterham Group beyond Formula 1. The two companies will jointly develop a range of road-going sports cars, which will bear the Alpine and Caterham names, and will be built at the French company’s Dieppe factory.

The Joint Venture will see the British specialist sports car manufacturer take a 50% stake in Automobiles Alpine Renault to form Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham. The partnership will ‘go live’ in January 2013, and the both Renault and Caterham promise that the cars that emerge will remain true to their makers’ DNA.

Both Alpine and Caterham have a long tradition of building innovative and lightweight sports cars, and both are currently developing new models. Renault’s 395bhp A110-50 concept, revealed in May 2012 shows that Alpine is thinking upmarket for its next sports car – but the company also has a long history of producing minimalist stripped-out competition-focused cars, such as the rear-engined 1961-’77 A110.

The Caterham name is now in Formula 1, and the association with Alpine means that development costs of its next generation car will be eased by resource-sharing with Renault. The company was formed in 1973, and since then has produced – almost exclusively – the Lotus Seven-based two-seater, both in kit-form, and fully built.

Expect to see the Joint Venture bear fruit with a new car as early as 2014, although it’s expected that the Caterham Seven will convert to Renault power somewhat sooner. Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault commented:This innovative partnership with Caterham embodies a longstanding ambition: the creation of a sports car with the Alpine DNA. It carries both opportunities for the Dieppe plant and the development of its historic know-how.’

Tony Fernandes, Caterham Group Chairman added: ‘We know the markets we are going into and there is a huge opportunity to give consumers access to exciting, affordable products that marry our interests in F1 and technology.’

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

14 Comments

  1. Renaultsport 225 engine in something that weighs about the same as a Hollyoaks actors brain pan…

    What could possibly go wrong…?

  2. Where did you get the first photo featuring the original Lotus Seven parked in the grounds of Portmerrion? Even Rover the angry white balloon is present. I love it! Where can I get a copy of it?

  3. @6 David… Is the image of the original “Prisoner” car or a replica, as I thought. I had heard the original was exported to Australia then crashed/destroyed.

    Whatever the truth – it is a really nice photo!

  4. Come on are you lot living in a cave? Do the “Prisoner” alloys not give it away as one of the early factory 90’s recreations?

  5. @ Andrew Elphick:

    You are of course right as I recall at either the 1990 or 1992 British Motor Show there was a special edition version of the Caterham 7 to commemorate the anniversary when the Prisoner was first aired on televison. ‘No. 6’ himself (aka Patrick McGoohan was present at its unveiling and took delivery of one. The ‘Prisoner’ alloy wheels were part of its specification.

    However, I do agree with Hilton D, it is a very nice photo!

  6. Thank you David & Andrew… last night I looked at a book I have about the “Prisoner” and that confirmed the photo on this site was of one of the 1990’s Replica’s as I suspected.

  7. @ 10.

    Just looking at the SMMT sales figures for October, Lotus sold… 2 cars last month. Yes, two.

    Mind you, Renault aren’t doing much better: just over 3000 units sold which is half – yes, half – what they sold in Oct 2011.

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