Caterham is still keen on a new, more conventional model to flesh out its model range.
In an interview with Autocar, Graham MacDonald, CEO of Caterham, has admitted that the small British sports car maker is still eager to have a fully enclosed ‘practical’ sports car, despite its joint venture with Renault falling through in 2014.
MacDonald said that such a car would need to have a mainstream and modern body shape to ensure that it has broadest possible market appeal.
Mirroring the setup of the cancelled Caterham ‘C120’ (above), which would have been a sister to the upcoming Alpine ‘A120’, any new Caterham would need to share a platform with another manufacturer.
Caterham’s preference is for its new model to use a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, although the company did acquiesce to Renault’s desire for a mid-engine package in keeping with Alpine’s tradition.
The new Caterham would also use another carmaker’s engine. Although there are supercharged Ford engines employed in today’s Seven range, the preference would be for a motor that’s naturally aspirated.
Despite the dissolution of the deal with Renault, reportedly due to funding issues, the two parties parted ways amicably. It’s possible that if funding is secured that Caterham could continue development of the ‘C120’, and request for parts to be supplied by Renault.
The CEO also stated that any new, more mainstream sports car would be an addition to the current Seven-based range, not a replacement for the iconic model.
He cautioned that “nothing is near conclusion, but certainly we would like another product”.
MacDonald also noted that with the Seven closing in on sixty years, the company is considering the “next step” for it.