We reported back in April that the forthcoming Alfa Romeo 4C, which will reintroduce the Italian brand to the U.S., will share its platform with the reincarnated Alpine brand from Renault and also a new Caterham sports car.
Renault’s design chief Laurens van den Acker was quick to point out, though, that unlike the Toyota and Subaru joint venture that created the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, the Alfa and Alpine combo would go another direction.
“The two cars need to be clearly different. It needs to be not just a sports car, but also a car for aesthetes.” van den Acker said in an Autocar interview.
Once Alpine has defined itself with the aforementioned Porsche Cayman competitor in 2016, it will then aim to take on the 911 with a car with an equally iconic presence, on that will “create the foundation of Alpine.” From there, Alpine will look to take on the Porsche Panamera.
We wonder, though, why does Alpine want to be the next Porsche? As obvious as this statement might seem – there is already a Porsche. It’s called “Porsche.”
We think Alpine would be far better suited to take on the likes of Jaguar – or at least follow Jag’s lead and indirectly take on Porsche by straddling its lineup. The F-Type, for instance, falls between the Cayman and the 911 in price and performance. Jaguar knew it couldn’t supplant Porsche so instead it aimed to attract buyers in another direction.
We don’t really think that there’s room in the sport car marketplace for another Porsche, especially a French one. We know no one at Alpine will take our advice, but we still wish they’d reconsider and use the Alpine reboot to compete in a more clever way.