Alpine Sets Its Sights On An SUV After the A110 Sports Car
Reborn automaker wants a slice of SUV pie to make money for performance car projectsby Kirby Garlitos, on
Alpine’s return from the grave may have been marked by the launch of the A110 sports car, but the returning French automaker is still in the business of making money, and there’s no better way of doing that these days by joining the hustle and bustle that is the SUV market. Turns out, that’s exactly what Alpine plans to do now that the A110 is on the market.
According to Auto Express, the French automaker’s rationale for building an SUV boils down to one simple and inevitable reason: it needs to make money. That piece of urgent business is even more important now that the A110 has reached dealerships because if the company wants to build on the sports coupe with other performance cars, it’s going to need a cash cow model to help generate the funds to do so. And as promising as the A110 is, it’s won’t be able to generate that much financial business compared to an SUV. By contrast, an SUV would be more than capable of generating the influx of money the company needs to stay relevant in the game. Plans are already underway to develop the vehicle with an expected launch date of sometime in 2019. It may seem weird at first to think of an Alpine SUV given the company’s long history as a performance and racing brand, but the sign of the times call for certain actions to be made. A lot of other companies with little to no history in the SUV game have made similar leaps of fate. If Alpine wants to stay in the business longer this time, it recognizes that it’s going to have to do the same.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
How does Alpine plan to build its SUV?
Renault Nissan provides plenty of options to work with, beginning with potential platforms that can be used to underpin the SUV.
The easy answer would be to rely on parent company Renault-Nissan to provide the necessary equipment. Fortunately for Alpine, Renault Nissan provides plenty of options to work with, beginning with potential platforms that can be used to underpin the SUV. There’s also the possibility the brand can look outside its own house for appropriate architecture should plans include a model with both rear- and four-wheel drive capabilities.
From there, it’s all about Alpine putting its own identity on the SUV. The company has said that it plans to make it one of the lightest models in its class so there’s going to be a lot of work being put into making sure the SUV weighs as little as possible. Technology is also going to be at the forefront of the vehicle’s development, specifically in the way it handles. Good news again because it has RenaultSport to lean on in this regard. As far as styling is concerned, the SUV is expected to take design cues from the A110. This is a smart play because it would streamline the brand’s lineup in terms of aesthetics. It might be easier in the long run to be a little more cavalier with the car’s design, but at this point in Alpine’s rebirth, singles and doubles are the name of the game.
Alpine will initially rely on Renault’s 1.80-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to power the SUV.
Then there’s power. According to Auto Express, Alpine will initially rely on Renault’s 1.80-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to power the SUV. Output has been pegged at around 300 horsepower, putting it in the neighborhood of the Porsche Macan, the model that Alpine indicated it plans to directly compete against.
Ultimately, Alpine’s goal of building an SUV comes with its own risks. For one, some might think that it’s a little too early for the company to be dipping its toes in arguably the most competitive segment in the entire auto industry. Porsche was able to do it because it’s Porsche. It was already established as one of the best automakers in the world by the time it started on the SUV path with the Cayenne and later on, the Macan. Alpine, on the other hand, is nowhere near what Porsche was when it started building SUVs. That’s the big risk Alpine is taking. Then again, the potential rewards are too good to pass up and Alpine knows that if it’s going to stick around longer this time around, it’s going to have to take big risks. Consider then this plan for an SUV to be one of those risks that come with huge rewards if it hits.
Read our full review of the 2017 Renault Alpine A110
Source: Auto Express