British based, niche market auto manufacturer Caterham has voiced its interest in transforming the brand into a globally renowned car manufacturer. The company plans to extend the current joint venture with Renault-Alpine as an effort to introduce mass production vehicles starting with the Asian market.The news of the joint venture was followed by Caterham officially unveiling the 620R that will replace the current range-topping R500 model and will be displayed at this week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The current agreement focuses on the co-development of a lightweight sports car by 2016 and is destined to revive the Renault owned Alpine brand that once produced the legendary Alpine V6 Turbo Le Mans. The extension of this agreement will see Renault completing a feasibility study into providing Caterham with semi-finished models based on the new-generation Clio and Captur crossover. The partly finished vehicles will then be shipped to Asia to be completed and sold under the Caterham brand name.
Caterham chairman Tony Fernandes believes that Porsche has laid a template for the Caterham brand to evolve and envisions his company to reach the heights achieved by the German manufacturer in the future. Caterham’s entry into Formula One is also aimed at improving the company’s presence in Asia before the introduction of the road cars developed in unison with Renault.
The 620R is powered 2.0-litre turbocharged Ford Duratec engine that produces 315PS and 295Nm of torque. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a sequential gearbox. It carries on the famous design of the Caterham lineage but underneath, the car is made of more exotic materials and better design quality than the first car.