Renault Alpine Confirmed: Coming In 2016
The comeback saga of the Renault Alpine has been rather confusing lately. After the Renault-Caterham joint venture, essential for the sports car’s development program, had been dissolved it seemed that the rebirth of the Alpine brand might never happened. Then last week Renault confirmed the highly anticipated sports car remains on track for a 2016 release.
Speaking at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, Renault boss Carlos Ghosn told WhatCar? the Alpine project is continuing as planned, with the sports car to arrive in 2016 despite delays caused by the split. "While it would have been better to split the investment with a partner, it wasn’t possible to agree it [sic]. Now it is better that we go alone – and the project is continuing as planned."
The news was confirmed by Renault chief designer Laurens van den Acker as well, who expressed regrets for the Renault-Caterham joint venture being dissolved in 2014. However, van den Acker said the company has "made some good progress" on its own.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Renault Alpine.
Why it matters
France has been synonymous to sports car racing ever since the automobile was created. Unfortunately, most of the country’s iconic manufacturers have gone under over the past three decades. Alpine, arguably one of the most emblematic racing and sports car company that took shape in post-WW2 Europe, was among those shuttered.
Declared defunct in 1995, Alpine disappeared completely from the automotive scene, with its Dieppe factory now used to produce Renault Sport models. The fact that Renault wants to revive the Alpine brand is great news for gearheads who rejoice at the announcement of every new sports car that joins the performance wars. Now that the French have confirmed the project continues without Caterham, we can finally rest assured that Alpine is indeed rising from its own ashes.
Not much is known about the upcoming Alpine sports car following the Renault-Caterham split. What we do know is that the French are planning to build a vehicle that pays tribute to the Alpine A110, which was introduced in 1961 and lasted through 1977, achieving several racing milestones in the process.
We expect the modern Alpine to feature a fuel-efficient powerplant that sends around 250 to 300 horsepower to the wheels. A host of race-bred internals and carbon-fiber parts are likely to make this upcoming sports car a lightweight and agile racer for the street. Renault introduced an exciting concept car in 2012, but it’s unclear whether or not the French will use the same recipe for the production model.