Shame we're never going to see it again.
About four years ago the motoring world burst into jubilant excitement upon hearing Caterham and Renault would be joining forces to revive the Alpine name, with Caterham being rewarded for its involvement by building its own version of the new coupe. Two years later, though, Caterham pulled out of the project and it was here where we thought the firm's part in this story would end. That is until the design agency that scribbled the Caterham's shape revealed the first official images of this joint-venture sports car.
It's certainly easy to see that the "Caterham C120" as envisioned by Drive Design was created in partnership with the team of artists lead by Alpine's design director, Antony Villain. All of the main hard points appear to be shared between the Alpine Vision concept car and the Caterham C120, and both cars look eerily similar if you squint really hard. Despite the obvious similarities there are areas where the two vehicles are substantially different. Perhaps the Caterham's biggest differentiating factor is its elliptical front grille and sculpted bumper, with the latter being a nod to its former Formula 1 team. The use of "CT02," an F1 car designation never officially used by Caterham , on the license plate is also a nod to its former racing squad.
We'll let you decide whether the design works or not, but there's no denying the team at Drive had their work cut out for them. Along with having to stick to the Alpine's hard point, Drive also had to devise a shape that was identifiable as a Caterham. That's kinda tricky when it's never made a mid-engined road car and is best known for the open-wheeled Seven. The designers also had to create a premium look that wouldn't alienate people who were also looking at Porsches and BMWs which would have been at the Caterham's price point. It's a shame all that hard work didn't result in an actual production car. But nonetheless it's great to know what could have been. Images courtesy of Drive Design.