If yesterday it was just a rumor, today everything became official: Renault and Caterham will join their forces in order to revive the legendary Alpine sports car. The two companies made the official announcement that it will put its Alpine factory in Dieppe and its 300-strong workforce into the 50:50 joint venture and Caterham will inject expertise in order to create a new range of sports cars.
According to Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn this new partnership will create a sports car with the Alpine DNA and will cement the link forged between Caterham and Renault in F1. For those who don’t know, the Renault engines are found in the F1 powering the British chassis. Dubbed Societe des Automobiles Alpine Caterham (SAAC), the joint venture will produce an alloy-chassis inspired by the iconic 1960s Alpine 110, which competed in the Monte Carlo rally and Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race.
This joint venture will produce not one but two sports cars, each with their own body panels, chassis tuning and character. If Renault will concentrate on a coupe inspired by the A110-50 Concept, Caterham will go for an open-top design, just like its other cars. Regarding the engines, the new cars will use the new 1.6-liter turbocharged found on the new Clio RS and capable to deliver around 200 hp.
Still, the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine found on the Megane Cup could also be a solution as it delivers 265 hp.Said Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, Caterham Group Chairman: “I have not felt as excited about a new venture since I launched AirAsia in 2001 and I want to thank Carlos Ghosn and Carlos Tavares and everyone in our new Renault family for having the belief in Caterham Group to create this partnership. Many people doubted us 11 years ago when we launched our airline and I am sure that there will be doubters again this time, but we will not fail your trust. We know the markets we are going into and, particularly in my playground in Asia, there is a huge opportunity to replicate the AirAsia model and give consumers access to exciting, affordable products that marry our interests in F1 and technology and help make their dreams come true.”