Renault and Caterham drop sports car venture

Renault unveiled the Alpine A110-50 concept car on the sidelines of the 2012 Monaco F1 Grand Prix. The car is powered by a 400-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine mounted in a mid-rear position.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Olivier Anrigo
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PARIS (Reuters) -- Renault today said it has scrapped plans to build a high-performance model for British specialist sports car brand Caterham.

Renault has bought out Caterham's stake in a joint venture announced in late 2012 and will pursue plans to launch its own Alpine model alone, the automaker said in a statement, without disclosing financial terms.

Renault had already briefed unions in March on the unwinding of the deal.

Tony Fernandes, the AirAsia founder who acquired Caterham in 2011 and controls the Formula One team of the same name, had promised additional Renault-built models to turn the British kit-car maker into a global premium player.

But the Caterham F1 team finished last in 2013 and has scored no points since it entered the sport as Lotus Racing three years earlier, prompting a warning from Fernandes that he may walk away unless things improve.

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