Renault and Caterham to build low-priced racecars, Alpine brand will be revived image

Renault and British sports-car maker Caterham today announced plans to develop affordable racecars to be introduced from 2016.

Renault also confirmed plans to revive the Alpine badge, also in collaboration with Caterham.

The new vehicles will be built at Renault’s Dieppe plant in northern France in a partnership with Caterham Cars and its Formula One team, the two companies said. Renault and Caterham’s future products will put racecar engineering within reach of more customers than current F1-derived offerings from rivals, Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn and and Caterham chairman said at a joint news conference.

“If you look at Formula One, there’s only Ferrari and McLaren, which are extremely expensive. We’ll produce a car that many more people can afford with F1 technology,” Fernandes said. Renault sold its Formula One team in 2009 but continues to supply engines to four teams including Caterham F1, which raced under the Team Lotus name until last year.

Caterham acquired a 50 percent stake in Automobiles Alpine Renault, a subsidiary of the French carmaker. Carlos Ghosn said output will be of „several thousand vehicles a year”.

The Alpine brand was created in the 1950s by garage mechanic Jean Redele, who modified Renault 4CV cars for racing. Alpine worldwide fame with the A110 two decades later, but Renault shut down the brand in 1994 due to low sales.