The long road to the market return of the Alpine sports car brand is almost over.
It was in late 2012 that French automaker Renault announced plans to partner with British track car specialist Caterham to develop a new platform to underpin a future sports car for Alpine and a similar model for Caterham. (Renault bought Alpine in 1973.)
By 2014 Caterham had dropped plans for its sports car to focus on its core track car range, and Renault had taken over the platform. Renault has continued to develop the new sports car since then and in early 2016 we got a preview in the form of the Alpine Vision concept.
Now Renault has teased the production version of the car, currently thought to be called an A120 to signify its link to the A110 Berlinette produced between 1961 and 1977. So far it looks almost identical to this year’s concept. Both the original A110 and the Alpine Vision concept are shown below.
Alpine Vision conceptEnlarge Photo
Production of the new Alpine sports car will take place, as promised, at the original home of the Alpine brand, Renault’s Dieppe plant in the north of France. The plant was recently retooled to build and assemble the chassis and body of the new sports car.
It will be a low, lightweight mid-engine model powered by a turbocharged inline-4, making it a potential rival for the Porsche 718 Cayman. Drive will be to the rear wheels only and Renault has promised a 0-62 mph time of about 4.5 seconds.
The debut will take place sometime in 2017. An appearance next March at the 2017 Geneva auto show is a strong possibility.
Sadly, there are no plans to introduce the Alpine sports car in the United States.