British sports car maker Caterham, fresh from inking a deal with Renault on co-developing an affordable sports car, is planning on building a super-car that would compete with the best from the likes of Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Porsche. That last German brand, specifically, is what Caterham will use as a template for its own strategy, revealed company head Tony Fernandes.
"We expect our biggest success with the sports car to come in Asia, and that is a market that likes SUVs and city cars as well," Fernandes said during an interview with AutoCar. "If we can get the brand established there, then we have an opportunity."
He cites Porsche's success of growing from just offering sports cars like its iconic 911 and younger Boxster and Cayman with more traditional cars such as its Cayenne SUV and Panamera five-door as a good example to follow.
The Caterham supercar is a long-term goal, however, arriving after a planned and more mainstream city car and crossover. What's more, it may not involve Renault or any other partner for that matter, as the agreement with Renault doesn't keep either party from working with other partners.
Mike Gascoyne, the boss of Caterham Technologies and a past F1 technical director is in charge of commercializing the company's motorsport involvement and thus believes the company has the experience and knowledge to make a successful supercar happen. This includes extensive experience with carbon fiber, dynamics, and aerodynamics.
As for the sports car that's being built in cooperation with Renault, Gascoyne said a concept car could be out within about a year's time, with the production car due to go out in 2014 at the earliest.