Renault cars

As always, the Grand Prix of Monaco provided a fairly spectacular showing, likely one of the few in this year’s F1 series. As most would expect, Circuit de Monaco lap-time record holder and five-time winner, Michael Schumacher took the pole position, but officials forced him back five grid positions after he caused a collision during qualifying. With the technical nature of Monaco, that pole position is very important and Schumacher’s penalty was an ominous sign that this would not be a good race, as he retired due to fuel issues 63 laps in.

Schumacher’s penalty propelled Red Bull’s Mark Webber into the pole position. Webber held onto that pole position, despite a lead change during a pit stop, and took home the checkered flag on a rain-coated Circuit de Monaco. As we said in our preview of the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco , this race had some serious overall points influence, as the leaders were only separated by a few points each.

This victory for Webber places propels him up to a second place tie with Sebastian Vettel at 73 points and puts Fernando Alonso, who finished third, in the points lead at 76. An impressive run by Nico Rosberg placed him in second, just behind Webber, proving that his wide margin of victory in China was not just a one-time deal. This superb finish by Rosberg jumps him up two slots to fifth place overall.

From the looks of it, this season is shaping up to be a rather close points race with a few new faces near the top. Unfortunately, the leader board, for the most part, looks identical to the 2011 and 2010 seasons. The lack of parody in F1 has really been its Achilles heel in recent history. An overall points victory by Nico Rosberg would certainly be a push in the right direction for F1, so we’ll keep a close eye on his performance.

Click past the jump to see the complete placement board for the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco and the overall points standings.

Back in 2007, a well-planned three-way deal between Renault, Nissan and Daimler brought these three automotive powerhouses together. This deal wasn’t necessarily massive, as it only resulted in Daimler getting a 3.1 percent share of Nissan and Renault Renault , and Nissan and Renault getting 1.55 percent of Daimler each. Basically this deal was just to allow the three automakers to freely share their technologies and testing.

It looks as if Renault is pretty close to calling on Daimler to make good on its deal, as Renault is working on a new flagship sedan that will use some Mercedes-Benz parts. This new flagship model is not all Renault is looking ahead to, as the French automaker is also debating releasing an entire lineup of luxury car with Daimler’s help.

The details are still rather sketchy, as they are still in preliminary talks and a lot of the information is from unconfirmed sources. One of the names for the new make that is being tossed around is Initiale Paris, which was once used on a 1995 Renault concept car.

Image Note: The images used are of the 1995 Initiale Paris concept car

Renault Clio

If a few months ago the nextRenault Clio has been caught testing under cold winter conditions in Norther Sweden, now Renault went to the other extreme: a new testing session during hot weather conditions in the South of Europe. The car is still heavily camouflaged, but still you can observe it will adopt a new design language including new headlamps, a redesigned front bumper and a new rear. We’re just wondering what’s with that bump on the engine bonnet?

The upcoming Clio will be offered with a choice of 1.2 and 1.4 turbocharged tCe four-cylinders along with a new 900 cc three cylinder engine producing 85 HP. Diesel lineup will include a 1.5 dCi i4 which produces between 75 to 105 HP plus a new 1.2 L turbocharged three-cylinder engine delivering 80 and 98 HP that is currently under development.

The new generation Renault Clio will be unveiled in September at the Paris Auto Show.

Plans to revive the Alpine name have gone back and forth like a tennis match for years, but Renault may finally be giving the project a green light, for a concept version at least. A few days ago, we reported that the first concept version for the Alpine line would be unveiled at the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix, and now the Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept has made its official debut.

The Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept was named as such because it pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Alpine A110. Its exterior design was inspired by the Renault DeZir concept unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show and its technical side was borrowed from the Renault Megane Trophy, meaning we will see a V6 engine with an impressive output of 400 HP and 315 lb-ft. of torque.

The original Alpine A110 debuted in 1961 and lasted through the 1977 model year. It had a rather Porsche-like design and had a number of engines ranging from a 66-horsepower 1,108 cc engine to an impressive 140-horsepower 1,605 cc engine.

If the Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept sees the light of production day, we’re guessing it will be sometime in 2014 .

UPDATE 06/29/12: Renault has unveiled a cool promotional video featuring the new Alpine A110-50 Concept next to its ancestor, the legendary A110 Alpine. In this video, the concept was driven by former rally driver for Renault Jean Ragnotti. Enjoy!

UPDATE 09/26/12: Is the Renaul Alpine A110-50 Concept closer to production? Well, Renault COO Carlos Tavares seems to think so after recently revealing that the company is close to inking a deal with another automaker to jointly build the model. That’s tremendous news to us, and if we’re going to take a stab at it, could this "unnamed automaker" be Renault’s automotive partner, Nissan?

Hit the jump for more details on the Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept.

Rarely is something both the slowest and the hardest at the same time, but that all goes out the window when you’re talking about the Grand Prix at Monaco. For the majority of the F1 season, the drivers get to open up their cars a good bit. At Monaco, those chances to go wide open are limited to about three, as there are only a three extended straightaways on the track.

Besides those three straights, drivers get to deal with a plethora of intense twists and blind turns that require great care to negotiate correctly. These tight turns all amount to Monaco being the lowest average speed course on the F1 circuit, and arguably the hardest one on the circuit.

Well, the 70th running of this ultra-technical road course is due to start on May 27, 2012 and we’re going to provide a quick preview of what’s to come.

Click past the jump to read all about the Grand Prix at Monaco

Posted on by Brad Anderson
Renault Alpine A110

We brought you news about the possibility of Renault reviving the Alpine name and producing a brand new concept based around the original car just a couple of weeks ago , and already more details about this possible, yet-to-be-confirmed car have surfaced.

Originally, Renault was rumored to have stated that a successor to the legendary Alpine A110 would debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in late September, but according to Autoblog.nl, the new car could be debuting much sooner at the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix late this month. This wouldn’t be the only new car said to debut at the event, as reports have also suggested that McLaren will unveil the McLaren F1 successor in a private display during the festivities.

If this turns out to be true, then debuting the car at the Monaco Grand Prix could be a great move on Renault’s part, as it’s not only an integral part of Formula One and one of its key engine suppliers, but the media buzz around the famous race will help the French company get some recognition for reviving this legend.

The car in question will only be a concept version, and is rumored to be dubbed the ‘ZAR,’ although we’re somewhat doubtful that the ZAR name would make it to production. It seems a return to ‘Alpine’ would be preferable. Autoblog.nl has also revealed that the new Renault sports car may be completely electric and help lead the sports car market into more efficient territory.

However, if Renault does decide to create an electric Alpine for the 2014 or 2015 model years, it’s likely it would also offer the car with a conventional internal combustion engine if it really is a tribute to the original.

It’s yet to be confirmed if the Monaco display will be conducted in private or not, but if it is, expect a few shots to leak onto the net in the days following the event.

Source: Autoblog.nl
Renault cancels plans to revive the Alpine brand

With sister company Nissan digging into the depths of its history to revive the old Datsun nameplate, Renault felt a little out in the cold. Well, the constructeur automobile Français, err, French automaker has decided yet again to revive its long lost sports car, the Alpine A110, sort of.

Renault has announced that a 50th anniversary Alpine A110 model will make an appearance at the 2012 Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l’Automobile 2012), which opens on September 29th and runs through October 14th. Keep in mind, Renault once explored this topic before, but axed it in 2009.

The original Alpine A110 debuted in 1961 and lasted through the 1977 model year. It had a rather Porsche-like design and had a number of engines ranging from a 66-horsepower 1,108 cc engine to an impressive 140-horsepower 1,605 cc engine.

There is no word as of yet what engine this retro revival will feature, nor what it will look like. Chances are, however, it will be very similar to the original. Given the fact that Renault also owns a large portion of Nissan, this tribute car will likely bear a few Nissan components.

An actual production model is unlikely, as Renault already features a compact sports car, the Wind, and having two similar cars in an already massive lineup could be harmful. Then there’s the fact that Renault Renault -Nissan’s marketing head said “...for an Alpine to make sense financially, it would have to sell in North America and China.” We haven’t seen a Renault in the U.S. since 1989, so it’s a real stretch for it to ever see production.

There have been rumors afloat that the Alpine would be based off of the Nissan GT-R, but that would be a far different car than the original, which defeats the purpose of a tribute car.

Ultimately, Renault left us pretty much empty handed on details, so we all just have to wait patiently until September. Unless Renault decides to play nice and give us at least a glimpse.

UPDATE 07/01/2012: According to comments made by Renault chief of design, Laurens van den Acker, the French automaker is trying to develop a car that is more similar to the A110Berlinette from the `60s and `70s and that it is trying to do with Alpine what BMW BMW has done with MINI. Now, before you go getting all excited about seeing a production model of the A110 concept, you can scratch that, as Renault wanting a design similar to the `60s and `70s Alpine A110 nixes that possibility.

To add some validity to the reports, Jean-Pascal Dauce, Renault’s motorsports department head, was reported saying that they anticipate producing 5,000 to 10,000 Alpines per year. Rumors also point to this limited lineup of sports cars running between €35,000 and €40,000 ($44,000 to $50,000), which makes them relatively attainable.

The final tidbit of info leaked is that Renault is anticipating its release to occur sometime in 2015. Unfortunately, there is no information on whether the new Alpine lineup will be available in the U.S. or not. We are certainly hoping that it does, given what we have seen from the A110 concept.

Renault Alpine A110

Two interesting developments surrounding the expected revival of the Renault Alpine: First, it appears to be headed to the 2012 Paris Motor Show . Second, and more importantly, the car could very well end up being based on the Nissan GT-R.

Talking to UK website Headline Auto, Renault Marketing Director Stephen Norman said that the new Alpine will be made as a lightweight sports car that puts the emphasis on top-class performance and "made to the highest specification." Moreover, Norman has admitted that the French automaker is looking at tapping into their partnership with Nissan to look for and use existing parts from Nissan.

The only catch with going that route is the expected cost that would go with such an ambitious project. On that end, Renault might still end up seeking third-party partners to help in the development of the new Alpine. "We can’t lift things from the parts bin, we have to make a business case for it and we have not yet done that," Norman said.

Despite no confirmations on that matter, CarAdvice has speculated that Renault might be eyeing Nissan’s mighty supercar, the GT-R, as a possible peg for the new Alpine. If this new piece of information proves to be correct, then you can expect the buzz surrounding the return of the Renault Alpine to hit fever pitch when it’s expected to be unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show this September.

Source: Car Advice

The 2012 Geneva Motor Show press days are officially over, which would typically mean that the debuts have also come to an end, but Renault has chosen to go against the grain by unveiling a very cool Clio special edition after the fact. The new Clio R.S. Red Bull Racing RB7 was built as a tribute to Renault Sport Technologies and Renault Sport F1, and will be offered in limited edition to just five European countries. It will be priced at €27,900 (about $36,600 at the current exchange rates).

The new Clio R.S. Red Bull Racing RB7 is painted in a very cool Profond Black combined with Sirius Yellow F1-style blade, door mirror housings, and a diffuser. It has also been equipped with a set of 18" black Interlagos wheels wrapped around Bridgestone RE050A tires, the same as those fitted on the Megane R.S. Trophy which established a new lap record round the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife in June 2011. Under the hood of the special edition Clio is a 2.0 liter engine that delivers a total of 203 HP - or more than 100 Hp per liter.

The list of standard equipment includes: automatic climate control, automatic headlight activation, a hands-free card, yellow fabric Recaro bucket seats, a Renault Sport-badged gear lever knob, a personalized numbered plaque, and an audio connection box.

Renault Clio

Renault usually has an impressive presence at the Geneva Motor Show, but this year, they decided to lay low and focus on the other major shows of the year; like the 2012 Paris Car Show in October where the all-new fourth generation Renault Clio is set to make its world debut. The company is busy preparing the hatchback, and they’ve sent the upcoming Clio 4 out again for some winter testing.

The new Clio will be the first Renault model to feature the company’s new design previewed by the DeZir Concept. Renault will only be offering = a five-door version, but due to the hidden rear door handles, it will still look sporty. It will also be lower, wider, and more distinctive than the current Clio.

Rumors state that the car will be about 220 lbs lighter than the current generation, which will help out the list of engines customers will be able to choose from. Among them are a 1.5 liter dCi diesel engine with 74 HP or 89 HP, and petrol engines starting with a new three cylinder 900 cc turbo producing 89 HP and going up to a four cylinder engine producing up to 200 HP. Judging from the bigger brakes and the two exhaust pipes, this prototype may be carrying the 200 HP four cylinder engine.

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