It is not a new concept that Caterham remains one of the most popular boutique sports cars in all of Europe, despite the fact that it only builds about 500 models each year. It is also not a shocker to know that England’s former boutique powerhouse, Lotus , has taken a huge hit in recent years, but still has an international presence.
Caterham’s flagship car, the Seven , is built with extreme care to keep the power-to-wight ratio as high as possible. This has worked so far, but Caterham needs to expand into other places, like the U.S., which only sees about 50 Caterham Sevens per year. Caterham is careful, though, and that’s what has made it the success it is today, so expansion needs to be carefully plotted out.
One thing that could help Caterham expand is to join forces with a like-minded car company to produce high-quality, lightweight sports cars that the American market would enjoy. One possibility is Lotus, which is sinking fast, but already offers up its lightweight bodies and chassis to other companies, like Hennessey , to build into lightweight monsters, so why not Caterham?
Combining the two could result in sweet profits for both, as Lotus could provide its lightweight chassis technology and its recognized name, and Caterham could provide its high-revving performance engine technology. With the Lotus name and body, and Caterham technology heading to the U.S., Caterham gains a stronger foothold in the U.S. and Lotus gets a chance to regain its presence in the states, all while sharing the cost and profits.
What’s even more telling is the fact that both Caterham and Lotus have been linked to the Renault Alpine and they have teamed up in the past. So there is the possibility that there are already talks between the two companies. This could also spill over into the anticipated manufacture of the Nissan-built Infiniti Emerg-E .
For now, this is all just a bit of speculation, but the writing is on the wall and the benefits are certainly there for all parties.
gallery: Caterham Seven Supersport
gallery: Lotus Exige R-GT