And the best news is that we’ll have it in North America! The return of Alpine to production since their last model in 1992 also means the first return to North America since the last Alpine was sold here 30 years ago.
The Alpine that is being shown at this point in the road to production is a show car. Not a “concept” but a working and driveable prototype made with pre-production pieces. How close to production? Carlos Ghosn (Chairman and CEO of France-based Renault, Chairman and CEO of Japan-based Nissan) says it is “very close” and that the production model will debut at the end of the year.
The Alpine is a premium two-seat mid-engine coupe, a true sportscar designed on an all-new chassis. North America represents 40% of the worldwide market for premium sportscars, and the Alpine was designed from the start to be sold in this market. The styling recalls the original Alpine A108 series, with driving lights in the leading edge of the bumper and a fastback wrap-around rear window. But the modern interpretation is absolutely stunning, inside and out. And Ghosn tells us that the car was designed with a “form follows function” philosophy and that driving dynamics are the first priority.
The Alpine uses a 4 cylinder turbocharged engine and is targeted at a 4.5 second 0-60 time. The engine specifications, believed to be 1.8 liters and 250 HP, weren’t announced – and purposefully so because of the focus is on agility and to provide an exhilarating driving experience for the driver. Look at the video below for an example and at our image gallery at the bottom of this post for images of the interior.
Very clearly Alpine has hit the mark in design: this car makes a distinct emotional impression that simply isn’t present in a Boxster. It’s sexy and attractive in every way, rather than appearing as a bland lump. And while the 4C makes a similar impression, the quality question is frankly still in our minds.
We’re looking forward to the first test drives at the end of the year to confirm the dynamics.
Press Release and Image Gallery follows:
Groupe Renault unveils plans for Alpine
February 16, 2016
- Alpine Vision brings exciting new choice to sport premium cars market
- Future production model to be revealed before the end of the year
- Alpine leverages strengths of Groupe Renault, Renault Sport, Formula One
Monte Carlo, Monaco – At the home of the world-famous Monte Carlo Rally and on the Col de Turini, site of some of racing’s most memorable moments, Groupe Renault today announced plans for a new Alpine sports car, and unveiled the Alpine Vision show car.
“Motorsports and sports cars are deeply rooted in the DNA of Groupe Renault,” Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said. “Earlier this month we announced our return to Formula One with a Renault team, and today we are announcing Alpine. This is an exciting next step in our strategy to leverage talent and technology between road and track, and we look forward to reaching new customers in the sport premium cars segment.”
The show car Alpine Vision combines sensual design with outstanding agility, true to the great Alpine A110 Berlinette loved and admired by enthusiasts around the world. Alpine Vision is powered by a new 4 cylinder turbocharged engine, built by experts at Renault Sport, and its low weight will allow the car to achieve 0 to 100 km/h in less than 4.5 seconds – the target for the future production model.
Alpine will be managed by a small team of passionate experts within Groupe Renault, with one sole mission – to meet and exceed the expectations of the demanding sport premium customer. Michael van der Sande will lead as Alpine managing director, and Antony Villain will head Alpine design.
Alpine will draw on the extensive resources of Groupe Renault, and Renault Sport.
“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 managing director. “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. Our Alpine Vision show car is immediately recognizable as an Alpine yet resolutely modern. We look forward to revealing the production model later this year.”
Over the next 12 months, the Alpine team will focus on building an outstanding car, very close to today’s show car in terms of design, weight, handling, agility and attention to detail. Priorities will also include building out the team and the network, and finally, to pursue racing. The current Signatech-Alpine Racing Team has already won two European endurance championships, and won the LMP2 class in the World Endurance Championship last year in Shanghai; and this year, the team will enter two Alpine LMP2 cars in the World Endurance Championship, including Le Mans.
Made in Dieppe, France, the new Alpine will go on sale in 2017 initially in Europe, followed by other markets worldwide.
Gallery: Alpine Vision