Alpine To Return in Renault Caterham Joint Venture Photo:
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Peter Anderson | Nov, 06 2012 | 0 Comments

Renault and Caterham have ended the will-they-won't-they saga surrounding Alpine by announcing the formation of a new sports car partnership.

Alpine's revival had been linked to Lotus, but Lotus' reorganisation under new owner DRB-Hicom made Caterham the clear frontrunner.

The partnership will produce cars for both Alpine and Caterham at the Dieppe factory in Normandy, with the first models expected in 2015. It is believed the Caterham version debut at around £40,000 (A$62,000).

While the Alpine brand is currently owned by Renault, the deal will see Caterham take a 50 percent stake. The company will be known as Societe des Automobiles Alpine Caterham from January 2013.

“I want to thank Carlos Ghosn and Carlos Tavares and everyone in our new Renault family for having the belief in Caterham Group to create this partnership," Tony Fernandes, Caterham Chairman said.

“Porsche is without doubt my vision for Caterham in the longer term. [The joint venture] is the start of a line of products - city cars and crossovers come to mind - and Porsche set a great template."

The new Alpine will be headed by Renault's Vice President of Transformation, Bernard Ollivier.

Renault unveiled the stunning Alpine A110-50 concept ahead of the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix and the car put in some demonstration laps over the race weekend.

The global response was hugely positive, the car also appearing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Sadly, however, this won't be the car the company puts into production.

The new Alpine deal also ensures the future of the RenaultSport facility at Dieppe, where fast Clios and Twingos are built.

“This innovative partnership with Caterham embodies a longstanding ambition: the creation of a sports car with the Alpine DNA. It carries both opportunities for the Dieppe plant and the development of its historic know-how,” Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said.

Caterham's 7 will continue on with Ford engines "until the end of their lifecycle" when the old-timer will most likely switch to Renault power.

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