Renault killed the best Caterham in history, the C120, to bring Alpine to life

When Renault bought Caterham’s part in their partnership to bring Alpine back to market, in June 2014, it has also apparently killed the best Caterham that we could have until now. The project was named C120 and was developed with the help of the Drive Design team. In a heartfelt post at the website of Drive Design, Mark Przeslawski, the head designer of the project, tells us part of the story of this beauty that will very likely never make it to production. Precisely because it has a close resemblance to the Alpine A120.


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The work in the C120 began in 2011 and was performed at the Renault R&D headquarters in Guyancourt, Paris. Side by side with the clay model of the A120, named by Przeslawski as AS1. But the end of the partnership between Renault and Caterham ended up the short career of the C120. If Caterham was not forbidden to ever produce the car in the terms of selling its part in the partnership. If that applies, the C120 is now Renault’s property. What is a shame. This is how it would look like, if it ever hit the streets.


We prefer the rear of the C120 over the A120. It would be amazing to have this other option around, but Renault may have bought Caterham’s part in order to prevent it from overselling the Alpine variant. We cannot blame Renault. The Drive Design crew made an amazing job. It is a pity we will not be able to see it out there. But at least we have the pictures of what it might have been. And it would have been glorious.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.

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