Confirming a recent rumor, Renault’s newly-revived Alpine division has announced plans to introduce a brand new concept before the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Likely called Alpine Sports 1 (AS1), the concept will take the form of a thinly-veiled design study that will celebrate the brand’s 60th birthday and accurately preview its upcoming coupe. Sources close to the automaker have previously hinted the first regular-production Alpine of the 21st century will boast a retro-inspired look that will borrow styling cues from the iconic A110 Berlinette (pictured) that was built during the 1960s and 70s.
The AS1 concept will be fully functional. Unlike the rear-engined A110, it will be powered by a mid-mounted turbocharged four-cylinder engine that will send approximately 250 horsepower to the rear wheels via either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual-clutch unit. The turbo four will be sourced from the Renault parts bin, and rumors have it that it’s a tuned version of the mill that powers the hot-rodded Clio RS.
Stay tuned, we expect Alpine will drop a few teaser images in the hours leading up to the concept’s official unveiling. The AS1 will greet the public for the first time at 1:35 pm local time this coming Saturday, less than two hours before the start of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The regular-production version of the AS1 concept will likely be presented at next year’s edition of the Geneva Motor show. Aimed at back-to-the-basics, driver-focused machines like the Alfa Romeo 4C, the coupe will carry a base price of approximately 30,000 Euros, a sum that converts to nearly $34,000 at the time of writing.
The Alpine AS1 will initially be sold exclusively in Europe, but we hear Renault hasn’t completely ruled out selling it in the United States in order to expand the brand’s global presence and benefit from economies of scale. If given the green light, the U.S.-spec AS1 won’t arrive until at least a year after the Euro-spec model goes on sale.
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