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Caterham is looking at building a new sports car model

By FaezClutchless on 29 Feb 2012

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Although Caterham Cars has existed for over three decades, the company may not be well known to most people around this region but it looks like things might change. Ever since the company’s recent acquisition by Tony Fernandes, a new holding company was formed to provide future expansion of the Caterham brand name and it is known as the Caterham Group.

Many would know who Tony Fernandes is as he is the director of AirAsia and the majority shareholder and chairman of the English football club, Queens Park Rangers.

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There are rumours going around mentioning that the company is looking at a new sports car model that will be developed and built within the group and will not be based on any other automobile. And with the company’s recent appointment of Mike Gascoyne as the Chief Technical Officer of Caterham Group, those rumours might just be true. Mike Gascoyne will oversee the entire group’s road car division, advanced composites operation, a new R&D division and also the group’s motorsport division.

Mike Gascoyne is a well known figure in the F1 industry and has previously worked with F1 teams such as Benetton, Renault and Toyota. He is also currently the Chief Technical Officer for the Caterham F1 Group, formerly known as Team Lotus.

Currently, Caterham has only one model which is the Caterham 7 and an upcoming model known as the SP 300R which is co-developed with racing group, Lola. The Caterham 7 is based on the Lotus Seven which is a lightweight sports car sold in kit and factory-built form. Even though the company has offered the 7 ever since the 1970s, they do not have any other model.

The company has previously mentioned that they might consider going the mid-engine route with its new model but there is a high possibility that Caterham will stick with the traditional front engine and rear wheel drive set-up, together with a monocoque chassis built around an F1-styled body. The body will be made from a lightweight material, most probably aluminium or carbon fibre, maybe a mix of both.

The company intends to keep both weight and price of the new model at a minimum but they also will emphasise on designing the car with more comfort features than its current model offering. Both coupe and convertible versions are anticipated and they are still negotiating with several potential engine suppliers. A forced induced version is also being considered and the company are currently having discussions with several design studios.

The appointment of Mike Gascoyne as Chief Technical Officer for the group proves to be an important move as he is well known for his aggressive approach on work and it is evident that the company is dead serious on bringing up the Caterham name.

Photo credit: Net Car Show and caterham-spr.com

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Written by FaezClutchless
Some say that his blood is actually RON98 petrol and some say that his right foot weighs over 20kg. But all that we know about Faez is that he loves to drive and is a JDM enthusiast.

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