Renault and Caterham Cars may have gone their separate ways in regards to a sports car platform they were developing together for new models for their respective Alpine and Caterham brands, but the cars the platform was designed for are still very much alive. We now have a few extra details on the Alpine model, which is expected to bow in 2016.
According to Auto Express, the new Alpine model will be called the “AS1”, short for “Alpine Sport 1”. Part of the reason for the name choice is that the AS1 will be just the first of a family of dedicated Alpine models, which could potentially include a hybrid car or perhaps even an SUV.
“What we are sure of is that we cannot revive a brand or create a brand with a single model—it’s not sustainable to have a single model, it’s impossible,” senior Renault executive Bruno Ancelin told Auto Express. “We need to see further and look to the complementary models we will have in the lineup.”
Ancelin said Renault is taking the revival of its storied Alpine brand seriously, and is looking at brands such as Audi and Porsche as potential rivals. But without the vast resources that Audi and Porsche have access to, Ancelin concedes that Renault may have to turn to its alliance partners Nissan and Daimler to source suitable technologies for the expansion of its Alpine brand.
As for the AS1, it will be a mid-engine sports car with two seats and turbocharged four-cylinder power. Unfortunately, the car is no longer expected to look anything like the striking Renault-Alpine A110-50 concept car from 2012, which was previously thought to be representative of the final design.
Pictured above is a virtual Alpine concept car designed for the Vision Gran Turismo challenge.