This new car is intended to look towards Caterham's future. As much praise as the Caterham 7 receives, it's still based on a 60-year-old Lotus design. The automaker believes it needs a new and more modern model in order to break into new markets.
While the new car will be front-engined and rear-wheel drive, Macdonald says it won't be based on the 7's platform. He also says the company will use naturally-aspirated engines, ruling out potential power from the Ford EcoBoost range. It will most likely be a closed-cockpit car, unlike Caterham's previous attempt to make an all-new model, the Caterham 21. That car was a commercial and financial disaster that only yielded 50 models before production was halted.
The Caterham/Alpine partnership from a few years ago was intended to yield a successor to classic Alpine cars like the A110 and A310 as well as a model for Caterham. The two produced the mid-engined C120 concept before calling it quits. It seems the split was amicable, as Macdonald says Caterham is open to partnering with Renault and Alpine again.
According to the CEO, the new car can't proceed without some sort of manufacturer partnership as Caterham doesn't have the money or resources to add a second, full-fledged model to its stable. Maybe they would save some money if they just allowed customers to build it themselves.