Caterham Wants To Build A Range Rover Evoque-Fighter With Renault

Illustration for article titled Caterham Wants To Build A Range Rover Evoque-Fighter With Renault

Haven’t we hit peak crossover yet? Blame the Range Rover Evoque, which more or less found a new niche that hadn’t been properly exploited by marketers yet. But a Caterham SUV? When will it end?


Reuters reported Friday the new Renault-Caterham alliance that’s supposed to produce a new Caterham sports car and a revived Alpine later this decade may be getting into the business of making sports crossovers and sporty superminis as some people think it's a logical expansion of the business arrangement.

In an interview, Caterham chairman Tony Fernandes said, "If we get the SUV right it will be huge." I hope he’s referring to its size relative to a Seven, because I seriously a doubt a Caterham SUV would be as popular as an Evoque. Renault would also be the last place I'd go for SUV knowledge too, because when was the last time you heard of a great Renault SUV?

It's all for the Chinese market, apparently. And even though Caterham has absolutely no name recognition in that area for any type of car, it's somehow believed there will be a market for some kind of Caterham-approved crossover. I think the Chinese market would agree that a Range Rover Evoque is going to be the better bet for a sporty, posh SUV than one from a company that's made lots of cars that are strong on "sport" but pretty poor at "utility."

A city car, well maybe that’s a logical progression. A Renault-branded car with “Engineered by Caterham” might work. Because you know that "Lotus-tuned suspension" affiliation worked really well to sell the Isuzu Stylus in this country.

Photo: Flickr/michieldijcks



Isn't a big part of the success of the Evoque the fact that it carries the Range Rover brand? Does "Caterham" have enough recognition/street cred outside a small core of car enthusiasts to be able to really pull off something like this? As a Renault, it might work - the Vel Satis showed that people might not take Renualt seriously as an upscale brand, but at least they're mainstream.