Alpine in car industry is a long forgotten name. Alpine cars used to be the French answer to Porsche in various rallies and on the road. And now it is time to remember this name, because Groupe Renault has big plans for the future of Alpine.
It will be completely separate brand – you will not be able to find any Renault bandages on the new cars. And it will not take long for people to start looking at new Alpine cars, as one concept is already on the way.
Alpine Vision is inspired by legendary Alpine A110 Berlinette. It is mid-engined sportscar, made to be as light as possible. Not only it borrows many design features from its historic predecessor, such as headlight configuration, but it will also be powered by a small 4 cylinder engine. Except that modern times require more sophistication – engine will be turbocharged.
Renault says that it will be a completely new engine, built by Renault Sport division, but it is likely to be revised 1.6 l. unit from Renault hot hatchbacks. It may look a way too small weapon to take on such names as Porsche Cayman, but Renault says that because of its light weight it will be able to sprint from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds, while current Cayman GTS takes 4.8 seconds.
Because of extremely light weight, Alpine Vision could be mentioned besides other competitor – Alfa Romeo 4C. It is also a very light car, with mid-mounted heavily turbocharged 1.7 l. engine. It is regarded as one of the best looking modern cars currently on the market, although, not as fast and user-friendly as Porsche mentioned above. So it is clear, life of the reborn Alpine is not going to be easy. But it looks like it will be the best of both approaches to a sportscar – very light, but very luxurious.
Interior of the Alpine Vision is simply stunning. It features extensive use of aluminium, as not only it is durable and light, but it is also part of the styling. Other materials are carbon fibre and leather. Most prominent features are air vents and so on. From the outside car is simply beautiful. Its round headlights are modern interpretation of historic Alpine A110 Berlinette design.
Entire car is made to be aerodynamic and simply, to emphasize its lightweight and efficient characteristics. Although Alpine is best known for racing cars and Alpine Vision does have racing harnesses inside, company says that it is useable. In fact, it is advertised as an everyday car, even though it looks so special and performance is so important to it. Company also says that it will tackle the twisty mountain roads the best, which is also emphasized in the brand name.
One may think now that it is too good to be true – Alpine Vision is just a distant future at most and Porsche and Alfa Romeo can sleep peacefully. However, Michael van der Sande, Alpine managing director, said: “Our Alpine Vision show car is immediately recognizable as an Alpine yet resolutely modern. We look forward to revealing the production model later this year”.
Company says that the new production car will be very similar to the concept. Furthermore, the new Alpine sportscar will go on sale in 2017. Now we have to wait and see how much production car will differ from the concept and what automotive journalists will think about it after some test drives and comparisons with main competitors.