Team Lotus F1 boss buys Caterham

* Tony Fernandes buys Caterham * Wants to use F1 to promote sports car marque * Model line-up to be expanded...

Team Lotus F1 boss buys Caterham

Caterham Cars has been sold to the owner of the Team Lotus Formula One team, Tony Fernandes.

Fernandes, along with Team Lotus's Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin have bought the sports car company from venture capitalist Corven Venture and have made promises to increase the Caterham product line-up.

'Caterham has a unique place at the heart of the motoring world. As well as being proudly and staunchly British, it has an enviable and uniquely unblemished reputation within the industry for performance, handling and engineering excellence,' said Fernandes.

'We now have all the ingredients and the launch pad to further evolve that spirit and take Caterham to new exciting horizons with innovative products and greater global brand exposure.'

The existing management team, led by managing director Ansa Ali, will continue to run Caterham.

Ali said: 'This is yet another exciting chapter in the Caterham story. We will remain entirely true to the philosophy that we, as custodians of one man's motoring concept, have protected for nearly 40 years.

'However, the acquisition of the company by Team Lotus Enterprise will allow our existing management team to take Caterham's core spirit of pure driving enjoyment to a hitherto un-served audience.

Fernandes says he wants to use his F1 team to promote the sports car company.

Speaking to What Car? sister site Autocar, Fernandes said: 'I always wanted to use F1 to get into a road car business and Caterham jumped out.'

Asked if the Caterham name will be used in F1, Fernandes said: 'Watch this space...'

Details on special-edition Caterham to mark takeover below this video

To mark the takeover, 25 special-edition Seven models in Team Lotus livery are being made.

The Team Lotus upgrade package can be applied to any variant of the Superlight R500 model. For an extra 3000 over the price of your chosen car, the special-edition Sevens will come in the famous green and gold colours of Lotus.

A plaque with the signatures of Team Lotus drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen will be in the cockpit, and owners will also receive a Seven history book signed by Team Lotus designer Mike Gascoyne and a tour of the F1 factory in Norfolk.