Renault wanted to have its own Porsche 911 for a long time, and while the Alpine project was halted by Caterham’s departure from the venture, the sports car is reportedly ready to hit the streets in 2016 after debuting at the 24 Hours of Le Mans followed by a run up the hill at Goodwood.
Autocar claims we’ll see a new Alpine at Le Mans, but the car won’t be anything like the previous concept shown at Goodwood in 2012, which was based on the Renault DeZir design study. Instead, it should be a more affordable 911 rival with around 250 hp and a curb weight kept under 2,500 pounds. Count me in.
That’s about half the power the RenaultSport R.S. 01 has, but if you’re looking for design clues, that should be a good car to start with, along with the classic A110 of course.
While the new Alpine was supposed to be created by Renault and Caterham together, the companies went their separate ways last year, with Caterham planning to launch its own mid-engined car rumored to be based on Artega’s platform, but using Renault’s tech.
Autocar points out that the A110-15 Concept’s design went through numerous changes before Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker came to the following conclusions:
The challenge with Alpine is to somehow fill this gap of more than 20 years and do a product that is believable. I feel the car really needs to create the foundation of Alpine. We need to create the 911 of Alpine. If we do that properly then we can consider making cars like the Panamera.
As with many things we need to have a good business first. We all love Alpines but we all want to make money as well. Let’s get the first car right and then I hope I can start doing Alpines for the rest of my life.
Sports cars are an endangered species – there are always ten reasons not to do it.
Yet we also know A hundred and ten reasons to do it.
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