As first discussed in my blog posting of November 2005, Renault has been considering reviving the Alpine brand for the past several years. Discussion in the press on this possibility has recently picked up with the suggestion that 2010 could be the year the car debuts.
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Plans have apparently taken a step forward, coinciding with the major updates that were made to the Nissan FM platform and architecture. Given the strategic alliance with Nissan, and the lack of a suitable chassis from Renault itself, what better platform to use than the updated FM architecture? The FM platform is the basis for the current G37 coupe and G35/G37 sedan, and older variants are found under the M35/45 and 350Z. When the 350Z is updated to the 370Z this coming winter, it will ride on the updated FM platform and will be both lighter and shorter than the current 350Z.
The original Alpine concept of a few years ago is shown below. With the 370Z taking several steps to cut weight significantly from 350Z levels, the revised FM platform with a turbo 4 or Nissan V-6 would seem to be ideal for the purpose. This could also significant a revival of “sporting” spirit at Renault, whose products have been mainly stuck in the French market and which – with a few exceptions – have been decidedly dull as far as enthusiasts are concerned.