Renault Alpine Pushed Back To 2017 Because It Needs To Be Perfect
Delayed several times due to development drawbacks and the unexpected split with Caterham, Alpine’s first modern-day sports car and the brand’s revival could still be 18 months away. Originally scheduled to arrive in 2016, Alpine’s first car in 20 years is now being pushed into 2017. The news comes straight from Alpine boss Bernard Ollivier, who told Motoring that the launch has been delayed yet again, so the French can be sure that the vehicle will be "absolutely perfect."
Ollivier argues that the new Alpine is more than just a car, as it will also mark the relaunch of the brand. That said, he made it clear that the production version of the 2015 Renault-Alpine Celebration Concept won’t arrive before 2017.
"We will have only one shot; one shot because when we launch this design, we are not launching one car, we have to launch one car and [the] Alpine [brand]. The future of Alpine is based on this car. So we have only objective today – the success of this [first] car," he said.
"[But] Sorry, the date cannot be before  clearly... And if we need some more [time] to realize the success of the car, we’ll take it. The main point is to be sure our car will be absolutely perfect," Ollivier added.
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Why it matters
Although this interview brings uncertainty to the brand’s revival and its first product in two decades, it gives us plenty of reasons to get excited too.
The fact that Alpine wants to take its time to prepare this sports car is great news.
First, the fact that Alpine wants to take its time to prepare this sports car is great news. Competing against the likes of the Porsche Cayman and Alfa Romeo 4C isn’t easy, and given the French aim to produce (and sell) at least 3,000 units a year, it needs to make a strong impact in its niche.
"I can, however, explain that we will be very in line with Alpine DNA. It means light weight and the car will be very light because we want it to be very agile. We have focused the choice of the technology to get it lightweight and the car will receive many technological innovations but it’s not the time to explain that today," Ollivier stressed, confirming that Alpine won’t be cutting any corners with this car.
Second, Alpine wants its new sports car to become a global product. To achieve that, it will build right-hand-drive vehicles too, primarily for the British and Australian markets, where Porsche, for instance, has a strong presence.
This not only means Alpine has to build cars with both left- and right-hand-drive, but also come up with a solid marketing campaign. Hopefully, Alpine will have enough time to do both until 2017.
Find out more about the upcoming Alpine sports car in our speculative review here.