British boutique sportscar marque, Caterham, is still looking for a production partner to co-develop a mainstream coupe to go on sale alongside the brand’s iconic bare-bones Seven roadster following the dissolution of a previous joint-venture project with Renault.
Confirmation comes from Caterham CEO, Graham MacDonald, who indicated to Autocar that a coupe based on the C120 concept (top, and below), which was originally to be twinned with Renault’s revived Alpine sportscar, was still on the brand’s wishlist.
MacDonald’s vision for the new car would see it maintain the lightweight ethos of the Seven, but in a more practical and refined package in an attempt to boost its appeal.
With the cost of developing such a model from the ground-up prohibitively expensive, and adding a roof and doors to the existing Seven ruled out, Caterham is looking to partner with another automaker on the project.
“We are actively thinking about what is the next step to the Seven,” MacDonald told Autocar. “As yet, nothing is near conclusion, but certainly we would like another product to follow on from it.”
Any second Caterham vehicle would stick to the front engine, rear wheel drive layout of the Seven, rather than the mid-engined layout of the proposed C120 - a compromise made to keep the Renault version aligned with Alpine’s history.
Previously the Caterham C120 was to launch with a target price starting at £35,000 (AU$59,500) though MacDonald gave no clues as to where any future coupe model might be positioned, admitting that his preference was for naturally aspirated engines over forced induction.
While the final production version of Alpine’s C120 is still to make its official debut, the Alpine Vision concept shown in early 2016 shows much of what to expect from the French automaker when it launches in 2017.