Renault just revealed the Alpine Vision, a sports car concept poised to take on the Alfa Romeo 4C and Porsche Cayman when it goes on sale in 2017.
The Renault Alpine Vision show car is powered by a new four-cylinder turbocharged petrol designed by Renault Sport. Reports say it will have up to 300bhp, which should prove plentiful when combined with a kerb weight of around 1,100kg.
The mid-engined Alpine Vision concept – unveiled at Col de Turini in Monte Carlo – will hit 0-62mph in less than 4.5 seconds and that is the target for the production model, making it faster than the Cayman S with Launch control, which takes 4.7 seconds.
The Alpine name will be used for sportier Renault models, including a rumoured sports utility vehicle in 2018, as opposed to being a standalone brand like Nissan’s Infinity. Even though Alpine actually started out life as a separate entity long before it was absorbed by the Frenchie.
Taking on the Porsche Cayman will be no easy feat, but Renault is pulling no punches. It says the Alpine team is focussing on ‘building an outstanding car’ that is ‘very close to today’s show in terms of design, weight, handling, agility and attention to detail’.
Meanwhile resources are being pumped into the Alpine Vision from Renault Sport and Groupe Renault. No doubt a bit of expertise from its new formula one team will spillover, too.
Groupe Renault chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said: “Motorsports and sports cars are deeply rooted in the DNA of Groupe Renault. 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.”
Alpine managing director Michael van der Sande added: “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.
“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.”
Anthony Villain, the man behind the recent crop of Alpine concepts, said the production model will retain, “80 per cent of the style of our forthcoming car”, adding that he hopes the car will fill attract buyers who crave a, “simple, fluid and very uncomplicated” sports car.
Alpine was made most famous by the A110 (aka the Berlinette), a race car that dominated rally in the 1960s and 70s. No wonder, then, the Alpine Vision takes a number of styling cues from its spiritual predecessor including those lovely round headlights.
The Renault Alpine Vision you will actually be able to buy is set for a reveal before the end of 2016, before going on sale in 2017 (starting with Europe).