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The sports car being collaboratively developed by Caterham and Renault will launch in 2016.
Caterham’s scheme to sell cars outside its traditional sports car niche is moving forward, but the brand won’t abandon its sports car heritage.
Sports cars and aerodynamics typically sit together as a matter of necessity, but Caterham has historically ignored that idea. Not so anymore.
Besides partnering on a sports car, it looks like Renault and Caterham are also expected to produce a small crossover and a city car together.
British sports car manufacturer Caterham will offer a new entry-level version of its Seven sports car for under £17,000 (about $25,800).
Renault and Caterham will revive the Alpine badge, which will adorn new sports cars that the brands will design and build together.
Renault’s sports car caught made a splash big enough to justify production, or so it seems.
With the British Grand Prix kicking off this weekend, Caterham Formula One drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov decided to flex their driving skills in conjunction with the Queen Park Rangers (QPR) football team.
Dyson Racing, reigning American Le Mans Series (ALMS) LMP1 champion team, will take possession of the first production Caterham SP/300.R over a year after it was revealed in partnership with Lola Racing.
Final assembly of the SP/300.R will take place at Dyson Racing’s facility in New York, where they are also the official U.S. distributor for Caterham Cars. The first production model will be used as the company’s demonstration cars with several more production models heading to America in a few weeks.
Dyson Racing played a pivotal role in developing the SP/300.R race car, sending former Le Mans 24 hour winner Guy Smith and its technical director, Peter Weston, out to Caterham’s test sessions during product development. The goal of the Caterham race car is to mirror the technology and appearance of the Lola Le Mans prototype, but in a more affordable fashionable.
“Like many of our customers, we can’t wait to get our hands on the SP/300.R. As in the UK, the popularity of track day driving is rocketing and the new vehicle is ideal for anybody who wants a reliable and cost-effective vehicle with very serious but accessible performance,” said Chris Dyson, Dyson Racing Team Vice President and Sporting Director.
Check out two videos on the Caterham SP/300.R after the break.
Caterham boss Anser Ali recently confirmed during an interview with Car Magazine that the company has plans for an affordable sports car to go on sale by 2015 that will have at least three models, including a racing variant.
Ali confirmed to Car Magazine that they have financial backing to bring a second Caterham to market which will sit alongside the iconic Seven. The new model will feature fixed doors and a roof. They plan to offer at least a coupe and convertible variants with hopes of a third model choice.
The new model will be built from the ground up. “We’re starting from scratch in terms of the platform technology and powertrain,”Ali said. “We’re not trying to take the Seven and make it slightly bigger, slightly higher, slightly wider.”
Caterham is hoping this new model will help the automaker expand sales beyond 500 units per year. Ali hopes to achieve five times their current sales by appealing to customers in new markets. The U.S. in the cross hairs, but Caterham is counting mostly on Chinese consumers to boost their numbers.
Even though very few details about this new model were revealed, Caterham did say that it hopes the new model weighs less than 2,200 lbs. Engine details remain scarce, but Ford may be a candidate considering their engines are used in the Seven.
[Source: CAR Magazine]
Try this little experiment: put a pair of headphones on if you can, or just turn the volume up. Skip to the bottom of the page and watch the video, but do it with your eyes closed. Come back and read the article after that.
It’s the kind of outside-the-box thinking one might hope for with a brand launching into Formula One racing for the first time. Although the Lotus name has been around in F1 since 1958, there’s an important distinction: Team Lotus and Lotus weren’t exactly the same group.
The name disappeared from the sport between 1994 and 2010 when it came back under license to Tony Fernandes, an entrepreneur best known for turning once-failing Air Asia into a successful publicly listed company. For the upcoming year, Lotus will run under their own name, while Fernandes’ team will re-emerge as the Caterham F1 Team.
The Caterham CT01 car made the news last week after its photos leaked a day early onto the internet. We don’t have much information on the Lotus car yet, but we do know that 2007 Formula 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen will be at the wheel.
Watch the teaser below.
The first glimpse of what will probably be the new face of F1 race cars leaked into the media yesterday after some subscribers to British F1 Racing magazine got their issues in the mail a little early.
The February edition was intended to debut the new Caterham F1 car, dubbed the CT01, but it didn’t take long for the photo to leak after people got their copies.
This is Caterham’s first solo entry into F1 racing. For the past two years they ran under the Lotus name, but that isn’t what all the fuss is about. Instead the internet is abuzz with speculation that the hideously shaped nose prominently displayed in the photo will be a widespread feature in 2012 F1 cars thanks to new regulations concerning the nose area.
The Caterham team quickly realized that their images had been pilled across the web and promptly released a cleaner looking photo which you see below. They tweeted their plans to release more pictures today, which are available in the gallery below.
Along with the new pictures, the team tweeted a link to the full interview which answered our questions about the ugly new nose design. Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer for Caterham F1, confirmed that the new “stepped” nose exists to comply with new standards limiting nose height.
Otherwise the CT01 retained its former Renault Sport F1 engine and Red Bull Technology gearbox. Gascoyne also said the move to ban blown diffusers helped them catch up to other teams designs.
Tell us what you think of the car in the comments section below.
GALLERY: Caterham F1 CT01
Fans of Formula 1 racing and Lotus must have spent this year feeling a bit confused regarding who they should support, since there were two teams going by the name Lotus.
There was Team Lotus, a private team founded by Tony Fernandes (who also owns Caterham Cars), and then there was Group Lotus which was run by Lotus (the guys who make the cars) and their parent company Proton.
The two teams fought over the naming rights. Group Lotus said that the name Lotus belongs to them, while Team Lotus said that their name has always operated in motorsports as a separate entity to the road car business.
Who gets what naming rights was up to the courts to decide, and the verdict is in. Group Lotus is to keep the rights to the Lotus name in motorsports, which means they now own the rights to the Team Lotus name also.
In what is being described as a amicable settlement between the two parties, the former Team Lotus, which is also owned by 1 Malaysia Racing Team, will rename themselves as the Caterham F1 Team for the 2012 season.
Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar said at the announcement that, “On behalf of Group Lotus and Proton, I would like to express how pleased we are that this matter is finally closed and we can now focus on looking forward to the future.”
The new deal will also lead to a working relationship between the two parties over future automotive projects.
Caterham, a company that started out life as a Lotus dealer, who got the manufacturing rights to the Lotus 7 and has been producing the car for over 30 years now, will now be its own force in Formula 1. Recognition of the Caterham brand will thus grow on a global scale.
There used to be a time when China was an “export-only” nation. But with China all the rage, foreign companies are making their way into this burgeoning market, and Caterham Cars is the latest entrant.
Caterham Cars has just signed an exclusive deal with Courtenay Trading International (CTI) as its exclusive importer. CTI will appoint six dealers in China, in some of its key provinces, and hopes to sell between 30 and 50 cars in its first year.
All of the current line of Caterham Seven’s will be offered, including the rapid Superlight R300 and the CSR 175. Models like the SP/300 R might be introduced at a later date.
On this occasion, Caterham Cars’ International Business Manager, David Ridley, said: “We are engaged in one of the most exciting new chapters in the Caterham Cars story and our entry into the Chinese market is another tangible sign of how Caterham is striving to become a truly global brand.”
While Caterham has been present in the Far East, namely Japan for quite a long time, this is the first time customers in China will be able to park one on their driveway. The first Sevens are scheduled to arrive in China in January 2012.