Joint venture project officially canned, according to media reports, but Renault confirms Alpine sports car will go on sale in 2016
Jim Holder
26 March 2014

Renault has reportedly confirmed to union leaders in France that its joint sports car venture with Caterham will be axed from the beginning of April.

Both Renault and Caterham will continue to develop their sports cars seperately. Renault has also confirmed the Alpine sports car will go on sale in 2016. The two brands will continue to work together in Formula One.

According to a report from France's CGT union, the cancellation of the joint venture project will have no impact on the 300 jobs held for small-series production at the Dieppe factory, thanks to a new agreement to build the Clio RS there until 2018.

The deal between the two sides was forged in 2012, with the partnership dubbed the Societe des Automobiles Alpine Caterham (SAAC) 

It is not clear whether the two cars will continue to share the same architecture and powertrains. The Alpine has been tipped to get 250bhp, with Caterham said to be chasing nearer 300bhp. The target kerb weight is 1100kg.

Neither Renault or Caterham have released official statements on the situation.

Additional reporting by Darren Moss, 26 March 2014

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Comments
5

22 March 2014
Honestly, I don't give Caterham much chance of being there in 2016. In F1 I have serious doubts that the team will make it through this season, nor Lotus either. I'd also have to wonder technically what Renault would need that Caterham could offer.

23 March 2014
Is sad news, though I for one thought the partnership was at best odd and highly imbalanced power/moneywise towards Renault.

Will be interesting to see how this pans out for both companies..
Its a bit like the late 1970's to mid 80's at the moment, no one wants sports cars anymore, except the rich of course.. Who will go for at least an Audi if not the Jaguar/Ferrari/Lamborghini which they can easily afford..

Maybe the Seven is the ultimate lightweight FE RWD car there is, ever!

TBC

23 March 2014
Could it be that the Malaysians have found a partner closer to home (Malaysia that is.....)

23 March 2014
Should just buy Lotus and then amalgamate the two companies, Caterham can carry on doing the 7 which is what they are known for as the 21 was a complete failure and let Lotus do all the other cars. Either that or Renault buy Caterham and use them for sports cars like the Sport Spider.

23 March 2014
As hinted at in other posts, teaming up with Lotus as was the original plan would seem to make sense. The Lotus F1 team has the resources and basis of a strong contender but no money - plus I think Proton are still a stakeholder through a loan, whereas Caterham still aren't making much progress. Lotus is a stronger brand than Caterham but needs new product. Caterham needs a partner for the city cars and SUVs they want to build, but may struggle to get the deal they want while Proton has factories building own brand cars no one wants. It makes sense to merge all these businesses together into a stronger package, and then they can find a partner from a stronger position once they have put the basics in place.

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