Joint-venture sports car developed between Caterham and Alpine on sale in 2016, built at joint-owned Dieppe factory
30 September 2013

The final designs of the new Caterham and Alpine 
co-developed sports car have now been agreed and signed off ahead of the launch in 2016. 

The new car, referred to by Caterham as the C120, is the result of the joint-venture agreement signed between Caterham and Renault late last year. It is a two-seat sports car that will give both companies a stand-alone model, as well as relaunching the Alpine brand.

But the Caterham will not just be a rebadged Alpine. Both will have different bodies and interiors and will owe very little to each other visually. Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker said the two cars will give "completely different impressions" that will showcase "the best of the two companies".

Engine tuning, handling characteristics and steering traits will also be different, with Caterham developing its own settings. And although both cars will have the same power and torque outputs, Caterham intends to launch new versions with different outputs after the first model. 

That power output is likely to be about 250bhp, although Caterham sources indicate that the firm is keen to raise that figure to 300bhp. The engine, a Renault-supplied unit, will be new and is not yet in production. With a target kerb weight of 1100kg, thanks to an aluminium body, the car is likely to benefit from a power-to-weight ratio of about 270bhp per tonne. 

With a target of 3000 cars a year, Caterham will be increasing sales by more than 500 per cent, so the firm is currently looking at expanding its dealer network to accommodate the new car. Both the Alpine and Caterham will be built at Renault’s Dieppe factory, which is now 50/50 owned by Caterham and Renault.

With Renault now working on the Alpine, van den Acker said he’d shelved his ambitions to launch an additional Renault sports car closely linked to his DeZir concept of 2010. "Since Alpine became serious, we can’t do both," he said. "Even I’d admit that’s not necessary. I gladly defer DeZir in order 
to do an Alpine." 

Dan Stevens

Our Verdict

The Caterham Seven is the essence of a stripped-down sports car

The Caterham Seven is a stripped-down sportscar offering one of the most pure driving experiences available. It is a true classic.

Join the debate


1 October 2013

May the two companies could each contribute 300HP so that we, the impoverished buying public, get a decent 600HP out of this deal...(^_^). 300 HP is so 20th century.....please..



1 October 2013

This looks to be a big step for Caterham. Aerodynamics? Interior design? Big increase in production rate? Quality expectations? Competition (eg versus an Exige)?

Wish them well though, and will keep an eye out for their (excellent) track days with this!

1 October 2013

Off course there should be a rally version, of the new Alpine. Otherwise it will be Betty boo hoo.


1 October 2013

Caterham's car looks quite good,and 300bhp sounds just about right,ok, make a monster for track use,but, on public roads?....more than enough for most.

Peter Cavellini.

1 October 2013

With you on that Pete
Seems plenty to me, looks good too.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

1 October 2013

I'm not normally overexcited by sports cars, but that Caterham looks the business like nothing else.

1 October 2013

I really like the sound of these two although I doubt the alpine will look like the Renault Alpine A110- 50 thats in the picture. Although I sincerely hope it does. Look forward to their official unveiling.

1 October 2013

Will certainly be quick but the combination of high-tech aero, wide tyres and a mid-engine with 'only' 250-300bhp shouts clinical, precise track car to me. Just speculation of course but I'm already concerned about the on-road fun factor. Will be glad to eat these words if I'm proved wrong. With Caterham involved I probably will be...

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    28 April 2015
    The Superb never had a problem with space but for 2015 it gets even more. It's also lighter, cleaner, more frugal and better equipped.
  • First Drive
    27 April 2015
    Whether the original BMW X5 M has diluted the brand is a moot point. However, there's no doubt that this second iteration is a cracking car
  • First Drive
    27 April 2015
    The original S-Max was a game changer – your only option if you wanted a fun, seven-seat MPV. The new model aims to be the same, only better.
  • First Drive
    24 April 2015
    Space and practicality has never been an issue for the Seat Leon ST, and thanks to a Cupra 280 engine it's now fast, too - but does it gel as a package?
  • First Drive
    24 April 2015
    Ariel's third model is the best yet - in fact, it's one of the best driving experiences we've ever had