Caterham working up all-new sportscar

There's little question that Caterham is on the rise. The British automaker may still be known primarily for building continuation models of the classic Lotus Seven, but under the new ownership of AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes, it is expanding in a big way.

The company teamed up with Lola for the SP/300.R, one of the only vehicles Caterham has ever made that was not based on the Seven. Caterham now also has its own F1 team, and has promoted the team's technical director Mike Gascoyne – a longtime F1 engineer and chassis designer – as chief technical officer for the entire group, overseeing the road car division, the advanced composites operation, the new R&D center and the motorsport division.

That's not all, though. Caterham has been rumored to be working on a new model line – to be developed and built in-house completely separate from the Seven and SP/300.R – details of which are just beginning to emerge. Although Caterham has reportedly considered going mid-engine with its new model, it is likely to stick with the traditional front-engine, rear-drive setup, with a monocoque chassis built around an F1-style tub, but likely not made of carbon fiber.

Caterham is reportedly intent on keeping both price and weight to a minimum, but the new model is being designed with more creature comforts than its existing stablemates. Both coupe and convertible versions are envisioned from the outset, and while powertrain is still being negotiated with potential suppliers, a supercharged version could be in the cards as well. Discussions are repprtedly also underway with various design studios, but one thing's for sure: this one won't be designed by Colin Chapman.
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Mike Gascoyne Appointed Caterham Group CTO

Hingham, UK - 16 February 2012
Mike Gascoyne has been appointed Caterham Group Chief Technical Officer (CTO) with immediate effect. Reflecting the ongoing evolution of the Caterham Group, and its determination to continue to develop and provide new opportunities for its staff at all levels, Mike will now be responsible for proposing, supporting and coordinating key technical initiatives in Caterham Group's motorsport activities (F1 and GP2), Caterham Cars, Caterham Composites and Caterham Technology & Innovation. He will report directly to Caterham Group CEO Riad Asmat and will coordinate overall strategic technical projects across each of the Caterham Group companies.

As a result of Mike's increased responsibility across Caterham Group, Mark Smith, Caterham F1 Team Technical Director, will now lead the F1 team's technical division day to day and will increase his presence at races throughout the 2012 season. Mike will continue to attend races in 2012, adding his wealth of experience and knowledge to the team when it is required.

Mike Gascoyne: "This is a very proud moment for me. Tony, Kamarudin, Nasa and Riad have established Caterham Group as a serious force for future development in a number of very exciting sectors. My new role will now give me the chance to help drive value across the whole group through the creation and delivery of new projects in all the sectors we are already working in, and opening up new opportunities for each of the Group's companies to embrace.

"Mark Smith is exactly the right person to step up to the broader role he will now be taking on in the F1 team, and I am looking forward to working even more closely with Mark Edwards at Caterham Technology & Innovation, Phil Hall at Caterham Composites and Ansar Ali at Caterham Cars. This is a big challenge but one I am extremely excited about and I want to thank our shareholders for this opportunity."

Tony Fernandes, Caterham Group Chairman: "We are all delighted that Mike has taken up the challenge we have presented him, to lead technical direction across the whole Caterham Group. His experience, knowledge, enthusiasm and creativity give him the perfect skill set to help us achieve the ambitious goals we have set for all the group companies, and I know Mike is excited about what lies ahead."

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