Long living in the shadow of Lotus, British automaker Caterham is keen to make it on its own – though maybe not all on its own. The company that made its name building continuation versions of the iconic Lotus Seven still relies on automakers like Ford and Suzuki to supply its engines, and developed the SP/300.R with Lola, but has been forging a much deeper alliance with Renault.
The relationship started when Renault began supplying the Caterham F1 team with engines in 2011, but has since extended far beyond that. The two entered a joint venture in 2012 to develop a new sports car, began talking about using Renault engines in versions of the Caterham Seven and even hinted at producing a crossover together. But if the latest intel from across the pond is to be believed, that could all come crashing down.
The problem reportedly stems from delays in the development of the joint sports car program under the Societé des Automobiles Alpine Caterham banner. After showing the design to select customers to lukewarm reception, Renault apparently went back to the drawing board, taking Caterham along with it, much to the latter's dismay. The two could still launch the vehicle, albeit independently, but that could be the last we see of the collaboration. We can only hope that one version or another makes the transatlantic voyage Stateside.