The owners of Formula One Team Lotus announced today the acquisition of lightweight sportscar manufacturer Caterham, for an undisclosed sum from the shareholder consortium led by Corven Ventures. Based in England, Caterham has made a name for itself for building the Seven, a lightweight two-seater sports car that was designed by Lotus founder Colin Chapman and who sold the rights of the car to Caterham in 1973.
Team Lotus chiefs Tony Fernandes, Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin said in a statement that the company plans to expand Caterham’s profile and product family while also continuing the development of the Seven.
“Caterham Cars has remained wholly faithful to Colin Chapman’s philosophy of ‘less is more’, and the DNA of the original Seven can still be traced to the newest additions to Caterham’s product offering," said Tony Fernandes.
“It is already a successful business with sales across Europe, Japan, Australia and the Middle East, and under the guidance of the existing management team, we now have all the ingredients and the launch pad to further evolve that spirit and take Caterham to new exciting horizons with innovative products and greater global brand exposure.”
Team Lotus said that Caterham will be led by the company’s existing management team, headed up by Caterham Cars Managing Director, Ansar Ali.
In celebration of the new ownership, Caterham will build a limited run of Team Lotus Special Edition Sevens. The British firm will offer just 50 upgrade packages (split evenly for the UK and rest of the world) that can be applied on the range-topping 263bhp, 150mph Superlight R500.
Priced at £3,000, the package adds special livery in the traditional green and yellow colors of Lotus, along with some other goodies such as a plaque carrying the signatures of Team Lotus F1 drivers, Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalaine. Also included in the package will be an invitation to a special tour of the Team Lotus F1 factory in Hingham, Norfolk.
Caterham managing director, Ansar Ali, said: “Caterham Cars is starting an exciting and hugely important chapter, so it’s entirely fitting that we celebrate our opportunity to take Colin Chapman’s ‘less is more’ philosophy global, with this special car.”