Renault and Caterham's joint venture project will be cancelled, Autocar understands.

The deal between the two sides was forged in 2012, and resulted in Renault putting its Alpine factory in Dieppe and its 300-strong workforce into the 50:50 joint venture with Caterham. The partnership was called the Societe des Automobiles Alpine Caterham (SAAC)

As a result, the two were set to launch lightweight two-seat sports cars under the Alpine and Caterham brands, co-developed by a joint engineering department.

It is understood that both sports cars will still be launched on schedule in late 2016, although it is not clear if they will continue to share the same architecture and powertrains. The Alpine has been tipped to get 250bhp, with Caterham said to be chasing nearer 300bhp. The target kerb weight is 1100kg.

Neither Renault nor Caterham would confirm or comment on the split when contacted by Autocar.

However, reports of tensions between the two partners have been rife since it was confirmed the project would be delayed earlier this year, after Renault instigated a minor redesign of its Alpine followingcustomer clinics on the car's looks.

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