Alpine's new sportscar will be developed by Renault and Caterham, it has been revealed
29 September 2012

The new Alpine sports car will be co-developed by Renault and Caterham. Both Renault and Caterham declined to comment on the story, but the deal is believed to be well advanced and likely to be confirmed within a month. Renault currently supplies F1 engines to Caterham, which is where talks over joint projects are believed to have stemmed from.

The Caterham Group is split in to four divisions: Caterham Cars, Caterham F1, Caterham Technology and Innovation and Caterham Composites. The Technology division was set up earlier this year with the specific goal of "assisting Caterham Cars on the development of the next generation of accessible and affordable sportscars." At the time insiders admitted the firm, which is now based in Leafield in Oxfordshire. was already working on projects for external companies.

Renault boss Carlos Tavares has long asserted that the new Alpine sports car project was dependent on finding a partner to share development costs. Caterham is expected to launch a parallel model using the same chassis. Tavares told Autocar: "The platform layout is now finished. This is a car that must appeal to the emotions."

Further specifics are not clear, but last month Caterham confirmed it had appointed deputy managing director of Renault Sport F1 Cyril Abiteboul as its new CEO. The 35-year-old’s move was greeted with shock as he has long been seen as one of Renault’s most promising up-and-coming talents by managers in both the road and race car programmes. However, it now appears likely that he will head up the new partnership and maintain his Renault links.

Renault Sport F1’s managing director, Jean-Francois Caubet, alluded to this during a press conference at the recent Singapore Grand Prix. "After eight years at Renault I think this is a fantastic opportunity for him do something more challenging. And maybe he will be back at Renault one day."

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Comments
11

1 October 2012

As long as it takes, i don't care,just hope there's no in house fighting.

Peter Cavellini.

1 October 2012

I expected it to be Lotus, but I guess with the F1 links, this makes more sense. Fingers crossed it works out well for both companies. I do hope it is something more in the vein of the Toyota/Subaru concept. Small, lightweight, fun based cars that aren't mega expensive

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

1 October 2012

Good news that its going to be produced......

 

.... Bad news that Renault don't know how to do this type of car anymore and have to outsource; their engineers must be grinding their teeth

 

I also expected it to be Lotus - the connection between Renault and Lotus in F1 is much stronger than between Caterham and Renault.

1 October 2012

soldi wrote:

Bad news that Renault don't know how to do this type of car anymore and have to outsource

I don't think it's a question of ability/talent, more likely to be cost reduction through platform and component sharing...I'm pretty certain that the engineers that gave us the Renaultsport variants of the Clio, Megane and even the Twingo could have produced a cracking vehicle by themselves if they could have.

 

- Follow your own star -

1 October 2012

Surely Lotus would make even more sense given the F1 link Superstevie? I'm pretty excited for this car though.

1 October 2012

Good news about the Alpine, but is there also a potential that Renaultsport engines will be available in Caterhams?

2.0 N/A please, rather than 1.6 turbo...

TBC

1 October 2012

I'm not sure that Lotus, with the current insecurities regarding it's future, would appear such a safe bet for Renault to invest in. Additionally, does Lotus, with it's current commitments, have sufficient funds to invest in another new model?

1 October 2012

If ever a partnership was made in heaven in the automotive field it has to be this one. Having driven many years ago the first Alpine, a re creaction of the marque in the format visualised has to be Paradise - I just hope it doesnt get lost !!!

what's life without imagination

1 October 2012

This could work well. Caterham can provide the low volume light weight chassis expertise that Renault would struggle to do today.

The mechanicals and fine tuning can still go through Dieppe.

The first Lotus Europa was a berlinette with the engine and transaxle turned 180 degree so there is quite a bit of history to build on.

2 October 2012

Some seem to confuse Lotus F1 activity and Lotus Cars. Last year when Group Lotus PLC magic man Dany Bahar had to admid that Lotus Cars could not pay the owners of Lotus F1 Team Genni Capital for the major sponsor contract signed in 2011. Conclussion: no link between Lotus Cars and Lotus F1....... However Catheram F1 has used Renault engines for over 3 years when it appeared in F1 under the title Team Lotus.

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