Rumors have been floating recently that the new cooperation between Alpine and Caterham will give birth to a new sports car. While that has surely driven intrigue into this still-to-be-named model, it’s still part of the not-so-distant future.
What is recent, though, is Alpine’s apparent return to 24-hour racing and it’s got quite a racecar in its fold ready to take on all comers. Called the A450, the race car is expected to bring the extra excitement to endurance racing at the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours and this year’s European Le Mans Series (ELMS). The car will be raced by the 24-year-old Nelson Panciatici and 29-year-old Pierre Ragues. This marks Alpine’s return to the world of motorsport after an absence of 35 years.
The new Alpine A450 will be powered by a Nissan -sourced V-8 engine that delivers a total of 500 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed sequential X-Trac gearbox. With a total weight of just 1984 pounds, the new race car will hit a pretty impressive top speed of 205 mph.
Speaking of impressive, have a look at the A450; it’s all that and then a little more. The brand’s striking blue and orange color combination harkens back to the days of the Alpine-Renault A442B that raced the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1978. If for nothing else, it’s a fitting tribute to the company’s racing history while also serving a reminder to the rest of the field that Alpine is back and ready to take some names.
Updated 04/10/2013: Alpine officially confirmed today that its first racing car in 35 years will be called A450. The model pays tribute to the A441, A442 and A443 which scored amazing results at the Le Mans in the 1970s. The figure "50" "symbolizes the fiftieth anniversary of Alpine’s first official entry for the Le Mans 24 Hours." The new A450 will be available for purchase in 2016.