This is How Caterham’s Alpine Coupe Twin Was Supposed To Look Like
Definitely sexier than its French counterpartby Ciprian Florea, on
Back in 2011, Alpine announced that it would produce its first car in two decades as part of a joint-venture with British sports car firm Caterham. Initially scheduled to arrive in 2015, the new Alpine was delayed after the French company and Caterham decided to drop their partnership, despite having a co-developed vehicle in the works. And, while Alpine continued to develop its own version of the sports car, Caterham’s design never made it into the spotlight. Until today, when Drive, the design firm that sketched the sports car, decided to share the story and some photos from their studio.
Dubbed C120, Caterham’s version of the sports car was designed in the same studio as the AS1. Drive’s team of designers and digital modelers were given a space within Alpine’s design office, which lead to the C120 and AS1 clay models facing each other in the same room. Not surprisingly, they share the overall proportion and some styling features, but at the same time they sport unique cues of their own.
While the Alpine obviously draws cues from the iconic A110, Caterham’s take on the project is unlike any other model they’ve produced so far. Which makes sense actually, as every Caterham to date was based on the Seven. Granted, the front grille and positioning of the headlamps remind me of the Seven to some extent, but everything else is new. Around back, the C120 shares many elements with the AS1, such as the slender taillights and trapezoidal diffuser insert, but other than that, they are quite different, as in the Caterham uses a more conventional engine lid with a rectangular glass area rather than Alpine’s wraparound windscreen.
Moving onto the sides, the Caterham features more muscular fenders and a larger quarter glass, and a more fastback roofline toward the rear. The C-pillar is also thicker, giving it a sportier look. The front fascia also seems more aggressive thanks to its big main, Seven-inspired grille and large outlets under each headlamp. All told, the C120 feels more modern and balanced than the Alpine, and it’s also more exciting to look at.
Continue reading for the full story.
Why it matters
Needless to say, the C120 is one pretty sports car and if I had a choice, I’d go with it instead of the Renault Alpine. Unfortunately, the project was pretty much shelved, and if Caterham will launch a mid-engined sports car in the future, it probably won’t be the C120. All I can do is hope that the design will live on and the Brits will come up with an evolution of that sexy body. At least now we know how Caterham’s vision looks like and have something to run by if the British company decides to offer something new alongside the many variations of the Seven.
Read our full review on the 2016 Renault Alpine here.