Renault’s Porsche Cayman competitor is one step closer to production

Introduced in 1961, the original Alpine A110 has attained legendary status thanks to its lightweight, sporty design and numerous wins in the World Rally Championship. Discontinued in 1977, four years after Alpine was purchased by Renault, the A110 is about to return with a modern design and state-of-the-art underpinnings. However, while it was announced in 2012, the sports car designed to revive the Alpine brand has yet to arrive. Instead, the French built a couple of concept vehicles. The A110-50 was shown in 2012, while the Celebration concept was unveiled ahead of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans as a near-production-ready study.

Come 2016, and it turns out that the Celebration concept wasn’t the last Alpine concept to come from the Dieppe-based shop. With the 2016 Geneva Motor Show right around the corner, the French introduced the Alpine Vision concept — a refined, production-friendly version of the Celebration concept. According to Alpine, this new concept will share about 80 percent of its design with the production model, which means it’s our best look at the upcoming A110 sports car yet. Needless to say, the new concept looks very similar to our own rendering of the production car.

There’s no word as to when the new Alpine will break cover, but Renault did say that a production model will be unveiled over the next 12 months. My best guess is that an official launch will occur by the end of the year with sales to commence in 2017. The sports car will initially go on sale in Europe before becoming available in other markets. It’s not yet known whether the A110 will cross the pond to the U.S., but that’s not very likely given that Renault is no longer present on these shores. Until we find out more about that, make sure you have a closer look at the latest Alpine concept below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Alpine Vision Concept.

Exterior

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2016 Renault Alpine Vision Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Renault Alpine Vision Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Although it retains the shape, size, and design features of the Celebration concept, the Alpine Vision received an array of production-friendly features. Up front, there are three noticeable modifications. First, the headlamps and foglamps are no longer hidden behind orange covers. Both feature round LED lamps with four-point daytime running lights, which are very likely to find their way on the final product. Below the nose, there’s a license plate, a new grille with horizontal bars instead of the motorsport-inspired mesh seen on the previous concept, and a less aggressive splitter. Granted, the new concept isn’t as cool as the Celebration without the race-spec splitter, but it gives the front fascia a closer resemblance to the original A110.

Granted, the new concept isn't as cool as the Celebration without the race-spec splitter, but it gives the front fascia a closer resemblance to the original A110.

Changes are even bigger around back, where Alpine replaced almost every fancy detail seen on the previous concept. The fixed spoiler atop the trunk lid is gone, while the smoked headlamps have been ditched in favor of more conventional units. However, the new taillights feature an X-shaped LED pattern which makes them rather cool to look at. The recess above the splitter now sports a license plate. Below, there is a revised, two-piece diffuser with a center-mounted exhaust pipe. The previous concept had a race-inspired diffuser with an F1-style center light and exhaust outlets on each side. As expected, Alpine also ditched the orange-colored rear fascia and the blacked-out rear glass with round holes. The good news is that the Vision concept still sports the Porsche 911-style grille between the glass and the trunk lid. It might not be original and it’s not related to the original A110, but it looks pretty cool.

When viewed from the side, the Vision is almost identical to the Celebration. The revised front splitter and missing rear wing do very little to alter the car’s beautiful design. Minor changes include a smaller French flag on the C-pillar, slightly different side mirrors, less aggressive side skirts, and a new wheel design.

All told, the Vision concept only needs conventional door handles, larger side mirrors, and less expensive wheels to become a gorgeous production car.

Interior

2016 Renault Alpine Vision Concept High Resolution Interior
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2016 Renault Alpine Vision Concept High Resolution Interior
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2016 Renault Alpine Vision Concept High Resolution Interior
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The Vision is actually the first concept that showcases its interior, and based on these official photos, it looks like a nice place to spend time in. The cabin has a sporty and premium feel attached to it and looks as if it could give the Porsche Cayman a run for its money. Given that most of these features make it on the production model, that is!

It's true that the cockpit has nothing in common with the original model, which might leave purists a bit disappointed, but the overall design is worthy of a modern, premium sports car.

It’s true that the cockpit has nothing in common with the original model, which might leave purists a bit disappointed, but the overall design is worthy of a modern, premium sports car. The cabin is packed with high-quality materials and the fit and finish seems superb no matter where you look. The first things that catch the eye are the racing bucket seats. They feature heavy bolstering and they’re sewn in quilted leather and Alcantara and incorporate motorsport-inspired harnesses coupled with aluminum fastening buckles.

The center console and the door panels are also wrapped in leather and feature the same blue contrast stitching seen on the seats. The latter have white top sections with the blue-white-red French flag. The dashboard design is rather minimalist, but the aluminum and carbon inserts, and the blue stitching makes it look expensive. Other highlights include aluminum door sills, a three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel with gear-shift paddles and a Sport button, Blue switches, and sports pedals.

Alpine didn’t have much to say about the technology drivers have access to, but the coupe features a customizable TFT display underneath a carbon cowling and a multimedia touch-screen tablet topped by a circular stopwatch.

Drivetrain

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The French firm had very little to say about the concept’s drivetrain, but confirmed that power will come from a four-cylinder engine made by Renault Sport. The said unit will propel the coupe from 0 to 62 mph in under 4.5 seconds, which should make it as quick as the upcoming 718 Cayman S, also to be motivated by a four-cylinder mill. To achieve this, Renault will most likely use an uprated version of the Clio RS’ 1.6-liter turbo four or a detuned variant of the Megane RS’ 2.0-liter four-pot. The former generates 197 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque in the Clio RS, while the latter cranks out 271 horses and 265 pound-feet in the Megane RS 275 Trophy.

Conclusion

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Based on this concept alone, the upcoming Alpine will be one impressive sports car. Not only quicker than a base Cayman, the Alpine also has a sporty design and an interior that can give Porsche’s entry-level coupe a run for its money. Of course, it remains to be seen how much of this concept will actually make it to production and what kind of price tag will it wear if the fancy interior gets the green light. Granted, the Alpine will face some serious competition from the Lotus Elise, Porsche Cayman, and the Alfa Romeo 4C, but if this concept is any indication, Renault could have a winner on its hands. The only downside to this is that the Alpine brand is still unknown to the uninitiated and a $50,000 sticker might keep enthusiasts away from a sports car that doesn’t have the brand cachet of a Cayman or a 4C.

  • Leave it
    • Final design not yet ready
    • The fancy interior could make it expensive
    • Stiff competition from Porsche and Alfa Romeo

Press Release

At the home of the world-famous Monte Carlo Rally and on the Col de Turini, site of some of racing’s most memorable moments, Groupe Renault today announced plans for a new Alpine sports car, and unveiled the Alpine Vision show car.

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“Motorsports and sports cars are deeply rooted in the DNA of Groupe Renault,” said Carlos Ghosn, Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO. “Earlier this month we announced our return to Formula One with a Renault team, and today we are announcing Alpine. This is an exciting next step in our strategy to leverage talent and technology between road and track, and we look forward to reaching new customers in the sport premium cars segment.”

The show car Alpine Vision combines sensual design with outstanding agility, true to the great Alpine A110 Berlinette loved and admired by enthusiasts around the world. Alpine Vision is powered by a new 4 cylinder turbocharged engine, built by experts at Renault Sport, and its low weight will allow the car to achieve 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in less than 4.5 seconds - the target for the future production model.

Alpine will be managed by a small team of passionate experts within Groupe Renault, with one sole mission – to meet and exceed the expectations of the demanding sport premium customer. Michael van der Sande will lead as Alpine Managing Director, and Antony Villain will head Alpine design. Alpine will draw on the extensive resources of Groupe Renault, and Renault Sport.

“All of us at Alpine are proud to have been entrusted with the task of bringing back Alpine to sports car lovers around the world”, said Michael van der Sande, Alpine Managing Director. “Our job is to faithfully re-interpret famous Alpines of the past and project Alpine into the future with a beautifully designed, agile, high-performance sports car. Our Alpine Vision show car is immediately recognizable as an Alpine yet resolutely modern. We look forward to revealing the production model later this year.”

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Over the next 12 months, the Alpine team will focus on building an outstanding car, very close to today’s show car in terms of design, weight, handling, agility and attention to detail. Priorities will also include building out the team and the network, and finally, to pursue racing. The current Signatech-Alpine Racing Team has already won two European endurance championships, and won the LMP2 class in the World Endurance Championship last year in Shanghai; and this year, the team will enter two Alpine LMP2 cars in the World Endurance Championship, including Le Mans.

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