The Caterham name may not be all that widely recognized here in the U.S. but in Europe, Caterham is well known for manufacturing a range of lightweight track cars built around the classic Lotus Seven chassis. More recently the British firm has been expanding its range, with cars like this SP/300.R prototype (pictured below) destined for production.

Now Caterham has been sold to the Team Lotus Formula 1 group.

The acquisition by Tony Fernandes, Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin, the men behind Team Lotus Formula 1, from the shareholder consortium led by Corven Ventures, will see the legendary lightweight sports car manufacturer expand its brand profile and product family.

The new owners plan to expand Caterham’s range of cars, increase its distribution network and introduce the brand to more and more countries. Importantly, a tie-up between Caterham and Team Lotus is planned too.

Speaking casually about the deal, the new owners said they always wanted to use the halo of an F1 team to promote a road car business and that originally a purchase of Lotus was investigated. However, that deal is said to have gone sour so instead Caterham was chosen.

Remaining in charge of Caterham, however, will be the firm’s existing management team, headed up by a man by the name of Ansar Ali.

A formal announcement on some of the future plans is expected to come during the British Grand Prix in July.

In addition to today’s announcement, Caterham is launching a limited run of Team Lotus Special Edition Sevens to celebrate the acquisition.

Just 50 of the Team Lotus upgrade packages, which can be applied to any variant up to the top-of-the-range 263 horsepower Superlight R500, will be built. The upgrades include the special green and yellow liveries as well as an invitation for a tour of the Team Lotus Formula 1 factory in Norfolk, UK.