Renault and Caterham in JV to develop Alpine sports cars

In what was seen as an unprecedented and surely surprising move, Caterham and Renault announced a joint-venture to make sports cars which will be marketed under the Alpine badge.

The brand will be revived by Renault and they announced that they are looking to build their sports cars at the Dieppe plant in France operated by Renault.

They also announced that the plan is to roll out 1 model each in the next 3 or 4 years where they will be working on a common project which will to design, develop and build future sports cars. In the deal, Caterham which is owned by AirAsia boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes will own 50% of the Automobiles Alpines Renault Company while Renault will retain the other half.

Dato Kamarudin Meranun, the deputy chairman of the Caterham Group said that Caterham, which has always been about Formula 1 had initially planned to develop the cars with Lotus (which is owned by Proton) but since that partnership did not work out, they are now working with Renault which would give the group a better chance of developing Caterham Cars.

Alpine has been known for being quite a cult car in its own markets since it was founded in 1955 by Jean Redele. Early speculations of the model to be rolled out speculates that it could be mirrored after the Subaru BRZ or the Scion FR-S although the designs are still very much behind closed doors.