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Lotus, Alpine to collaborate on electric sportscar
Lotus and Alpine sign on the dotted line and team up to develop electric sportcar
15 Jan 2021
TWO of the world’s most revered sportscar specialists, Lotus and Alpine, are coming together in a new strategic partnership to explore the possibility of co-developing a new electric sportscar.
No timeframes for the feasibility study or eventual product launch have been revealed yet with the two firms this week signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will see them pool their respective resources, facilities and expertise not only in the development of a new model but also aftersales service.
The partnership could prove particularly fruitful for Alpine with Lotus currently forming part of the Geely group which is quickly emerging as one of the electric vehicle (EV) powerhouses, having just debuted an all-new modular platform – the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform – in September.
As previously reported by GoAuto, the SEA platform will underpin a wide array of models from several big-name brands under the Geely umbrella including Geely, Proton, Lotus, Volvo and Polestar.
Alpine meanwhile forms part of the Renault group (Groupe Renault) and therefore falls under the umbrella of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi ‘Alliance’ which is making its own inroads into electrification.
Both brands take a similar approach in developing their respective sportscars with vehicle weight, or rather the lack of it, being the primary ingredient on the way to maximum agility and driver involvement.
Lotus CEO Phil Popham described the new partnership as a “natural fit” and said the co-development of an electric sportscar was “hugely exciting” for both companies as well as their fans and customers.
“Today’s announcement is the first step in what is set to be a hugely rewarding collaboration between our iconic brands,” he said.
“We are proud to be working with Groupe Renault in this collaboration – sharing Lotus’ technical expertise and abilities, and leveraging our long track record of successful collaborations.
“Our companies have much in common – from a pioneering pedigree in light-weighting, to championship-winning sportscars which perform as impressively on the road as they do in the motorsports arena.”
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi was equally as optimistic and said the collaboration would mark the beginning of a new era for the brand that would take its line-up into the future.
“The signing of this MOU with Lotus shows the lean and smart approach we’re implementing as part of the new Alpine brand strategy,” he said.
“Both brands have an amazing legacy and we are most excited to start this work together, from engineering tailored solutions to developing a next-generation EV sportscar.”
Under Groupe Renault’s latest ‘Renaulution’ strategic plan, Alpine will be transformed into a fully-fledged EV performance brand for the group with Renault Sport Cars and Renault Sport Racing both set to be amalgamated under the banner.
Such is Renault’s commitment to the idea, it has already rebranded its Formula 1 team into the ‘Alpine F1 Team’.
Lotus meanwhile is inching ever closer to launching its 1471kW Evija hypercar which will be followed by a new all-electric SUV.
Alpine sold just seven examples of its A110 mid-engined sportscar last year – the only model it makes – marking an 80 per cent downturn on the 35 it shifted in 2019.
By contrast, Lotus enjoyed some marginal sales growth last year, delivering 59 vehicles across its three-model range compared to the 57 it managed the year prior.
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