A joint alliance between Renault and British performance car producer Caterham will see the two firms teaming up to develop future sportscars, a move that could bring about a production version of the Alpine A110-50.
The agreement between Renault and the Caterham Group, which will create a new division dubbed the Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham, will see the British firm owning a 50 per cent share in Renault’s Alpine division and working from Renault’s Dieppe facility where production and racing-oriented RenaultSport (RS) models are developed. It also assures the Dieppe plant’s sustainability and financial viability for some time to come.
The joint-produced models rolling out of the Dieppe plant will be differentiated from Renault’s mainstream offerings and will carry influences from both firm’s products. Both large- and limited-run products are currently being tabled and Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham hopes to have its first offering on the road within the next three to four years.
Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of Renault, had the following to say about this new development;
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.”
Dato Kamarudin Meranun, Caterham Group deputy chairman, added;
“Formula 1 was always our entry point into the car business. Our original plans to develop a partnership with Lotus were put aside in spectacular and well documented style, but now we have a far better chance to develop Caterham Cars in partnership with Renault, working with Caterham Technology who are also integrally involved in this new venture. Our F1 team has already been working successfully with Renault Sport F1 since the start of the 2011 F1 season and I am thrilled that now we are adding to our track partnership by joining forces with Renault on the road. Together with Renault we have now created an opportunity for Caterham Cars to grow into the next stage of its development from a very well respected niche brand into a serious player on the global motoring map.”
With Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham’s ability to draw upon both Renault’s RS technology, as well as Caterham’s know-how regarding the lightweight composite materials and technologies used both in motorsports and the production of such lightweight track cars as its Superlight series, there’s a good case for a production version of the Alpine A110-50 performance model. Here’s hoping it gets the green-light…