We were within weeks, not months, of tooling up and being able to start marketing the vehicle, codenamed C120. The clay and foam models of the car now live in our Dartford factory as tantalising glimpses of what might have been.
Ultimately, Caterham’s brief sojourn into the world of F1 also faded – I don’t look back on that with any regret because, although the sale of the F1 team and the dissolution of the JV with Renault in 2014 left us with some unforeseen challenges, F1 gave us a global marketing platform for Caterham that simply wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
And C120 may be something that lives again. Caterham owns all of the IP around the design and development of the car. If another partner were to be found, the project could yet see the light of day.
But for now and, since the period during which F1 and the JV left the Caterham stable again, we have been putting our focus back into what we do best – building, developing and honing the Seven.
We’ve never stopped continually refining the Seven and a recent development as part of our motorsport programme has revealed something that we genuinely think could result in the ultimate Seven product. The engineering guys are positively giddy about this and we’ll be unleashing it upon the world very soon.
Our order book for the Seven remains plump and full, stretching all the way to Spring 2017; the enduring quality and popularity of our core product means that there’s still plenty to get excited about at Caterham.