Caterham isn’t just targeting Lotus anymore – now it’s going after Porsche with its share of the new Renault Alpine joint venture. The relaunch of the Alpine isn’t just good news for Renault – it’s also big news for Caterham.
The new sportscar they’re jointly developing will take their partnership far beyond the supply of Formula One engines. Now Autocar has new details on the sportscar on Caterham’s version. While Renault, as we recently reported, is looking at the Mazda MX5 as its benchmark, Caterham has an apparently higher target in mind: that of the Porsche Cayman.
Their respective goals are principally indicative of how each of the partners in the project wants its own version of the car to handle and perform, but could indicate as well that Caterham will position its version at higher price point – around £40,000, according to Autocar, aiming it right at the base price of the Cayman.
At that price, Caterham ambitiously expects to sell 25,000 examples over the course of its eight-year life-cycle, which will start when the car is introduced in 2015. That’s all well and good, but what kind of engine will it have?
According to Autocar, expect a Renault-sourced four-cylinder engine, supercharged up to 270 horsepower. With that much power and a lightweight form, the new Caterham could sprint to 60 in less than five seconds.
With components from a major automaker like Renault, it could be more reliable than a Lotus, but Caterham insists that its car will look markedly different from the Renault Alpine version. (Color-adjusted renderings by CarBuzz included for illustrative purposes.)
Tom Cooper | Elite.