The Alpine sports car brand will return in 2017 with a production version of the retro-modern Alpine Vision show car that is expected to debut before the year is out.
The mid-engined Alpine Vision will have Porsche-like performance, a Porsche-like four-cylinder turbocharged engine – indeed, it may even have a Porsche-like price tag.
Yes, the new Alpine sports car is going straight after the Porsche Cayman.
It’ll have some good genes behind it: Groupe Renault, Renault Sport and Formula One know-how will all go into the car chairman and CEO describes as “an exciting next step in our strategy to leverage talent and technology between road and track.”
Just to confirm the French-built sports car is going after Porsche’s mid-engined Cayman, Ghosn added: “We look forward to reaching new customers in the sports premium cars segment.”
What is the Alpine Vision?
Inspired by the famous Alpine A110 of the 1960s and 1970s, the Vision is low, rounded and petite, reflecting the lightweight construction Renault’s promising us. Even at first glance, it’s clearly a modern Alpine relative to the A110.
“The Alpine Vision is aimed at aficionados and connoisseurs, and 80% of the style of our forthcoming road car will be reflected in it,” said Alpine design director Antony Villain.
A mid-engined two-seat sports car, it will be powered by an as-yet unspecified engine: given how the Vision has a paddleshift gearbox, it could be the 1.6-litre turbo from the Renault Sport Clio, or even the forthcoming turbo engine from the bigger Renault Sport Megane.
What next for the Alpine Vision?
Alpine has a busy 12 months ahead. On its to-do list is building a production car “very close to today’s show car in terms of design, weight, handling, agility and attention to detail”. It will also have to expand its brand personnel and dealer network – and then finally, it adds, go racing with it.
Whatever, performance will be swift: Renault’s promising the Alpine will accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds.
It’s not restricting the production Alpine Vision to Europe, either: it’ll launch here in 2017 but will follow in other markets worldwide. How tantalising.
“All of us at Alpine are proud to have been entrusted with the task of bringing back Alpine to sports car lovers around the world”, said Michael van der Sande, Alpine’s recently-recruited MD.
“Our job is to faithfully re-interpret famous Alpines of the past and project Alpine into the future with a beautifully designed, agile, high-performance sports car.”