French firm confirms it will continue development of its new Alpine-branded sports car alone, with plans to launch the model in 2016

Renault has bought out the remaining stake held by Caterham in its Alpine business.

The manufacturer says that the arrangement has been made by mutual consent, and that the two companies could still work together in the future. This latest development brings to an end the Caterham-Alpine joint venture project which was signed off late in 2012. 

Renault says it still plans to launch its own sports car in 2016. Renault describes the new car as the "Berlinette of the 21st century", and says that 90 per cent of the design of the new car is complete, with an interior design set to be finished before the end of the summer.

The French firm reportedly confirmed earlier this year that the deal with Caterham would be axed, telling French union CGT that there would be no impact on the 300 jobs currently held at its Dieppe factory. The Clio RS is built there instead, and the site will still be the home of the Alpine brand in the future.

Problems between Renault and Caterham first surfaced at the beginning of this year, with insiders admitting to creative tensions between the two brands. The development of the Alpine car has also reportedly been delayed due to design changes, after an early prototype received mixed reviews at customer clinics.

The current launch date of 2016 is around a year later than first planned.

Caterham's design for its own sports car is believed to have been ready for some months, but as both cars were due to be launched together it's likely this contributed to the ending of the partnership. It's understood that the British company will continue to use the tech it has already developed with Renault for its own car. The company has admitted that there will be some job losses at its Norfolk-based tech centre as a result.

Caterham insiders are also refuting rumours that the firm has acquired beleagured German sports car maker Artega to make use of its mid-engined platform and production facilities. Caterham's finished car is expected to have around 300bhp available, while Renault's Alpine is tipped to have around 250bhp and a kerb weight of some 1100kg.

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Join the debate



10 June 2014
One wonders quite how history will view Caterham's decision to quit the venture. A lucky escape or a missed opportunity? One can also imagine that Renault would be obliged to carryout a full testing regime (Death Valley to the Arctic - or something similar), with the resultant extension in development times and cost. I wonder if Caterham has ever employed such a development programme..........

10 June 2014
Excellent point. But you've missed a word - "One can also imagine that Renault *customers* would be obliged to carry out a full testing regime..."

10 June 2014
that the present majority stakeholder in Caterham wanted to sell the whole joint? Let's face it, Renault doesn't need a company whose main activity is to sell a couple of hundred track day cars each year that are still based on a 50's concept and design by a company that is in dire straits too (Lotus).

10 June 2014
I am glad,i preferred Renault's car design anyway.

Peter Cavellini.

11 June 2014
This should bring the curtain down to the whole Renault-Caterham drama. Lets get back to work and bring on both of the sportscars ASAP!

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week