Team Lotus confirms purchase of Caterham cars
F1 outfit Team Lotus has confirmed it has bought the British sports car company, Caterham.
Tony Fernandes and the other men behind Team Lotus have said that the acquisition will see the British brand expand its profile and its range of cars.
However, this does not signal a tie up between Caterham and Lotus, the Norfolk-based company that makes the Elise, as this is simply the team behind the Formula 1 outfit that has been involved in so much conflict over the right to use the Lotus name.
What it does signal is a positive future for the small-scale Surrey-based sports car maker, as the official announcement said: "The acquisition of Caterham Cars by Team Lotus Enterprise will not only signal the continued development of the legendary Seven, but will provide Caterham with the platform to apply its philosophy of 'adding lightness' to exciting new models for the 21st Century."
The first product announcement is a special edition Caterham, called the Team Lotus Special Edition Seven. Caterham will build 25 of the cars, which will come with the green and yellow livery the company uses in F1, a plaque carrying Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen's signatures, and a raft of other additions. The upgrade will cost £3,000 and also includes a tour of the Lotus F1 factory.
Caterham will also continue to be led by the existing management team, headed up by current managing director Ansar Ali, who said: "This is yet another exciting chapter in the Caterham story.
"Until now, the resources Caterham has had at its disposal have, naturally, limited the exposure of the Caterham experience and the legendary Seven has had to rely almost entirely on its remarkable reputation and legacy.
"We will remain entirely true to the philosophy that we, as custodians of one man's motoring concept, have protected for nearly 40 years.
"However, the acquisition of the company by Team Lotus Enterprise will allow our existing management team to take Caterham's core spirit of pure driving enjoyment to a hitherto un-served audience.
Tony Fernandes said: "Caterham has a unique place at the heart of the motoring world. As well as being proudly and staunchly British, it has an enviable and uniquely unblemished reputation within the industry for performance, handling and engineering excellence.
"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.