French automaker Renault is investigating the launch of
two new sub-brands
in its quest to expand into new markets and quell its overcapacity issues back home in Europe.
One of these brands is to be a luxury line
using platforms borrowed from alliance partner Mercedes-Benz.
The other, and more interesting, is a potential revival of the Alpine sports car brand.
Renault boss Carlos Tavares has mentioned in the past that a final decision on the launch of either brand would be made by the end of the year.
Now, speaking with Autocar
, Tavares has revealed that Renault is currently in talks with another automaker over a joint venture to build a production version of the striking Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept
, and in the process revive the Alpine brand.
“What is clear is that if we want to build a great car--which is the only way we will build an Alpine--then we must share the burden of development costs,” Tavares explained. “I am working in that direction, but it is too early to say if the discussions will be a success.”
Tavares also revealed that if the right partner could be found, a production version of the Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept would still be another three to five years away.
Just as Toyota has successfully developed a sports car with Subaru, and perhaps soon with BMW as well
, Renault may be looking at one of its current alliance partners, either Nissan, Infiniti or Mercedes-Benz, for collaboration on its new sports car. One suggestion is Infiniti, which is also considering building a production version of its similar Emerg-E concept
, though the underpinnings of the extended-range electric concept was originally sourced from Lotus
and so could any production version.
The Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept, on the other hand, is based on the tubular-frame chassis of the Renault Megane Trophy
race car. The body is almost all carbon fiber, while its engine is a race-bred 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 400 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque.