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Alpine might be fourth Renault brand

I'll be back: Renault may resurrect the Alpine name for a possible future sportscar brand.

French sportscar marque Alpine set for revival in the wake of A110-50 concept

Renault logo27 Sep 2012

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in PARIS

RENAULT has given its strongest indication that it will resurrect the Alpine sportscar brand, confirming a development program is progressing and a more production-oriented prototype than the wild A110-50 concept is in the works.

Speaking to select media through an interpreter at a Renault Classic Car review at Flins in Paris this week, global Renault brand vice-president Christian Pouillaude identified Alpine as a possible fourth brand for the French company, after Renault, Dacia and Renault-Samsung.

“We have an Alpine project coming,” he said.

“A prototype is coming … it is competing with Porsche and Lamborghini … but not that expensive.

“We are focusing on it being a Renault … lightweight, affordable, and true to the brand.

“It is a project currently up for discussion … it will be a fourth brand.” Renault displayed the A110-50 concept at the Monaco Grand Prix in May as a tribute to the original Alpine A110 Berlinette that first appeared at the 1962 Paris motor show.

35 center imageFrom top: Renault Australia's Justin Hocevar Renault DeZir conncept.

However, since then Renault has remained quiet on the possibility of an Alpine brand return.

According to Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar, the prospect of an Alpine sportscar in Australia is appealing but remains far from a production reality.

“There’s a lot of people within Renault who have a lot of passion for that brand,” he said.

“Renault has already invested heavily in the (A110-50) concept, and that’s a signal of how serious they are about exploring its potential.

“But the likelihood of it getting over the line is still unknown.

“However, if it is confirmed, I will be the first to be putting my hand up for it.” Mr Hocevar added that whether Alpine would return as a separate line of vehicles, or a sportscar series wearing the Renault diamond logo, has yet to be communicated.

“We don’t know if it would be a standalone Renault brand or a Renault product badged as an Alpine,” he said.

“There is still a lot to find out about it. But Alpine is still a very exciting project.” GoAuto understands that Renault has been in negotiation with potential joint-venture partners, who would co-develop the Alpine sportscar with the French manufacturer.

The team would use the A110-50’s chassis, but develop different styling and a more road-oriented demeanour.

Mixing new and classic visual motifs, part of the Alpine A110-50’s brief as a concept was to point to Renault’s new styling direction, extending the themes first previewed with the 2010 DeZir concept.

It boasts a mid-mounted V6 pumping out 295kW of power at 7200rpm and 422Nm of torque at 6200rpm, and employs a tubular steel chassis with a 2625mm wheelbase that is identical in length to the ’62 original.

Alpine started off in 1955 as the maker of rebodied fibreglass sportscars based on the rear-drive, rear-engined Renault 4CV.

Morphing into the original Berlinette that inspired this year’s concept, the marque scored famous victories in the 1960s and ’70s, helping to create the Alpine allure.

The angular A310 followed from 1971 (two years before Renault took over the company), while the 1986 GTA and its closely related A610 successor released in 1991 were the final series Alpine, with production ceasing in 1995.

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