Paris-based Renault could leverage its partnership with Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler to successfully re-launch the storied Alpine brand.
The first Alpine-badged sports car of the 21st century will be a moderately toned-down version of the retro-inspired Vision concept (pictured) that was introduced earlier this year. Technical details are being kept secret for the time being, but sources close to Alpine have previously suggested the coupe will arrive with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine borrowed from the RenaultSport parts bin and tweaked in-house.
Alpine has historically been a tiny car maker, but this time around it won’t content itself with selling just one model. That’s where Mercedes-AMG comes in: the company is open to the idea of introducing a coupe positioned above the Vision — which might adopt the A120 moniker — and buying engines from Mercedes’ in-house performance division. The unit that immediately comes to mind is the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 found in mid-level AMG models like the E43 and the GLC43.
Renault is serious about turning Alpine into a full-fledged sports car manufacturer. Executives aren’t ready to discuss precisely what the future has in store, but they’ve hinted that we’re likely see the Alpine name affixed to more than just coupes in the coming years.
“We could have coupe, cabriolet, we could have a hatchback; we could have everything that is usable in a sporty brand,” revealed Bruno Ancelin, Renault’s executive vice president for product and planning, in an interview with British magazine Auto Express.
None of the aforementioned segments would be entirely new for Alpine. In its heyday, the firm built coupes, convertibles, and it even helped Renault cook up a hot-rodded version of the unassuming 5, a hatchback better known as the ill-fated LeCar on our shores. Rumors indicate Alpine could branch out into the popular crossover segment, too, but Ancelin didn’t reveal whether a soft-roader is in the cards.
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