Lotus not confirming Caterham tie-up reports

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Team Lotus could be set to tie up with Caterham Cars, a famous British specialist sports car marque.

Sky News City's business editor Mark Kleinman, who broke the News Corp/Slim takeover reports, said the F1 team's boss Tony Fernandes is likely to confirm next week that he has bought the Lotus-linked manufacturer.

Caterham's only current model is the Caterham 7, a direct evolution of the Series 3 Lotus Seven designed by legendary Colin Chapman in 1968.

The Team Lotus/Caterham tie-up could be a neat way for Fernandes to emerge independently from the bitter F1 naming dispute with Group Lotus.

Kleinman said he understands Malaysian entrepreneur and AirAsia owner Fernandes "is paying several million pounds for the (Caterham) business".

Current Caterham owner Corven Ventures declined to comment, while Fernandes could not be reached for comment.

A Team Lotus spokesman would not comment on reports of a likely tie-up with specialist British sports car marque Caterham.

News of the speculation was broken by Sky News City editor Mark Kleinman, who wrote that team boss Tony Fernandes could announce the purchase of the Kent-based company next week.

Caterham's current owner Corven Ventures also declined to comment.

Earlier, Team Lotus invited the media to Duxford next Wednesday "for an incredibly exciting announcement about the future of our team".

"We cannot tell you just yet what the announcement will be, but we can tell you it is definitely worth coming along to see us," read the invitation, adding that the news is the "next exciting step in the life of Team Lotus".

At the same event, Lotus will be straight-line testing the T128 car on the runway.

Caterham's only current model is the Caterham 7, a direct evolution of the Series 3 Lotus Seven designed by legendary Colin Chapman in 1968.

The tie-up could be a neat way for Fernandes to emerge independently from the bitter F1 naming dispute with Group Lotus.