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Renault Seeks Partner For Alpine Sports Car Revival

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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.
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