Team Lotus has officially announced that they have bought over Caterham, the legendary sports car maker in UK, which is actually a spiritual successor to Colin Chapman’s original Lotus cars. Also announced is Caterham will be branded together with Team Lotus in Formula One. That means Tony Fernandes will bring the Caterham brand into new markets in Asia, bringing low cost lightweight sports cars, similarly like how Tony did for Air Asia.
Tony Fernandes said, “Caterham Cars has remained wholly faithful to Colin Chapman’s philosophy of ‘less is more'”. He make valid statements as Group Lotus and Proton decided to go against Tony and Team Lotus and went ahead with making upmarket sports cars to challenge Porsche and Ferrari, in a move what remains to be skeptical by most westerners.
Here are some interesting facts about Caterham. Caterham cars are mainly based on the Lotus 7 model, which is a creation of Colin Chapman from the 60’s. Since then, the car can be bought either as a kit car (means DIY self-assemble) or completely built by Caterham. Following Colin philosophy of “simplify, then add lightness” is best described for Caterham cars like the Caterham 7, renowned for its performance and handling.
It is also a favorite track car for track enthusiasts on a budget. Despite it is using a merely less than 200HP engine, it has massive power to weight ratio due to its simple but light body which makes this car fast on race tracks. Back in 2008, the Caterham 7 R400 model completed the Top Gear test track at 1.17.4, which is above the Buggati Veyron. Interestingly the car was banned in most FIA competition races with reasons this car is too fast to race.
In conjunction with this historical event for Caterham, Team Lotus revealed a special limited edition run for 25 units of Team Lotus Special Edition Sevens, which pretty mimics like Team Lotus 2011 challenger, the T128. The video below displays more of this amazing looking machine.
Also, there are hints that Team Lotus to reveal a new major sponsor, which is Angolian petroleum company, Sonangol. There are rumours that should Team Lotus loses the court case, they will rebrand the team as Sonangol Caterham F1. Well if Tony wins, it could be named as Sonangol Caterham Team Lotus F1, which sounded pretty confusing if you ask me.
Tony might give Caterham a new tagline, ‘Now everyone can race’ maybe?