Report: Renault-Caterham Sports Car Venture is Dead
Well, that was quick, wasn’t it? The joint development deal that was supposed to net two sports cars bearing the same underpinnings under the Renault and Caterham names is apparently over. We reported earlier that there was a riff between the two companies, and according to multiple sources, the two have decided to nix the joint-development deal altogether.
According to these reports, both the Caterham and Renault cars are still on schedule for a 2016 release, but there is no information on whether they will continue to share the same architecture. Earlier reports claimed that Caterham approved a design from Renault, but the French company later tried to stuff the toothpaste back in the tube after customers didn’t respond well to the initial design. The Caterham bosses didn’t take too kindly to this, but they were assured that the project would remain Renault’s No. 1 priority.
Well, with the 50-50 venture now completely off track Caterham is free to continue with its designing process completely free from Renault’s nervous trigger finger.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Renault will eventually pull the plug on its project altogether citing demand issues, and Caterham will modify the car to better match its current design language. This would be a sad ending to a promising campaign, but it seems like Renault lost interest at some point and Caterham really has no need for a sports car like this in its lineup.
Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for more on this topic.
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When Renault showed of its half of this project — the Alpine A110-50 Concept — we were all left with our jaws hanging and all sorts of slobber on the floor below. The concept rolled in with 400 ponies on tap, but Renault later dropped the power to a more realistic 250 ponies.
We never got a chance to see the Caterham side of the project, but rumors were that it would look completely different than the Renault on the surface. Under the skin, however, the two cars would be nearly identical, except that the Caterham model would milk the Renault engine for an extra 50 horses.
Unfortunately, it looks like the deal is off, and the two companies will continue the development plan on their own.