In 2011, Caterham and Renault executives met in the U.K. to talk about a sports car. The two companies had an idea to collaborate on what would eventually be the C120 concept pictured here. But in 2014, that project fell apart. Renault would completely acquire the rights to the Alpine name and Caterham's version of the C120 would never built.
The initial concept was sketched by Drive Design in the U.K., and the engineering aspects were jointly developed by Caterham and Renault. As far as the final look, it didn’t much resemble either manufacturers - and that was the point.
“Establishing this new brand aesthetic was no easy task,” said Drive Design on its website. “The C120 was to be a completely new package, and one that a Caterham has never used before - a mid-mounted engine.”
Without using the 7, or any other Caterham vehicles as a reference point, the design team set out to bring a new language to the company while still enveloping that idea of pure performance. Taking a “holistic approach” to design, the concept used carefully-thought-out arch lines, and assured that nearly every angle served a purpose.
“Everything works together to deliver maximum performance whilst interpreting the Caterham design philosophy for the 21st century,” said Drive Design.
While the design will continue to live on in some aspects on the upcoming Alpine, Caterham hasn’t given up on the project just yet. The company is allegedly moving forward on the C120 project, and lead designer Mark Przeslawski says, “What you are seeing here is only a point in time and is not the finished article.”
Photos: Drive Design