Alpine Becomes An EV Brand And Something Even Bigger Is Brewing
Rumors claiming that Renault will turn Alpine into an all-electric brand have been confirmed today. The French automaker announced that the marque most famous for the A110 sports will focus on EV vehicles for the future. Renault also released a teaser image that previews three upcoming Alpine models, a small hatchback, a compact crossover, and a brand-new sports car. All are connected to charging stations, so all three will feature battery-powered electric motors. But the French also announced that the sports car will be co-developed with Lotus.
2020 Renault Megane eVision
Renault is outlining its EV mobility plan with a sleek-looking concept called eVision which heralds the use of a new battery pack, “one of the thinnest on the market.” The production model derived from the concept will sit on the CMF-EV platform, but it’ll take at least one year before we see it in the metal.
2020 Renault Megane R.S.
Revealed at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the current-generation Renault Megane R.S. is due for its mid-life nip and tuck. The coming of such a revamped model is backed up by a set of photos sent it by our spy photographers, who caught the French hot hatch completely free of camouflage during what looks a lot like a pre-production test run.
In all fairness, we don’t expect Renault to operate a lot of changes on the facelifted Megane R.S., which is already a mature model both in terms of exterior design and drivetrain. The cockpit, however, does leave some room for improvement especially in the technology and material quality areas. Renault knows this all too well and is surely working to tweak things in this regard, but take a closer look at the spy shots and you’ll spot a couple of other cosmetic changes as well. Let’s check them out.
2020 Renault Megane
Renault has been selling the current Megane unchanged since the current generation was launched back in 2016. Then, it attracted a lot of attention with its bold LED daytime running lights, wrap-around rear light clusters (that almost created a full-width light bar) and upmarket-feeling interior with its large portrait-style touchscreen infotainment screen.
Now, the manufacturer has brought the Megane in for its midlife makeover, in order to keep it looking fresh and to bring its look in line with that of newer models in the range (like the all-new generation Clio subcompact). The facelifted Megane features redesigned headlights (with a different but equally bold LED signature), a revised grille and front bumper, as well as a new rear light cluster design; the rear bumper may also be different, but if so, then the difference is so subtle we can’t really spot it.
Its interior has also been updated, but the biggest change can be found under the revised Megane’s hood. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains will be offered for the first time, as Renault continues the quest to electrify as much of its range as possible - this was to be expected, though, since the new Clio can also be had as a hybrid, so electrifying the Megane was a logical next step.
2019 Renault Clio’s smart, upmarket looking interior revealed
Renault seems really proud of its 2020 Clio city car’s interior as it’s been revealed separately and before the exterior. The French giant has all the right to be pleased with it because, at least from the photos, it looks fantastic through its design, combination of materials and textures, and its newfound techy feel.
Alpine Has Some Interesting Plans for the A110 Name - Here’s What You Need to Know
The Alpine A110 is a dandy of a sports car, and a new report reveals that more versions of the A110 could be on their way. French news outlet Downshift is reporting that Alpine is developing a more potent version of the A110 to go with a drop-top model, an SUV, and an all-electric version of the same SUV. If all three models come to fruition, the full lineup of models would serve as ideal complements to the model’s existing lineup. The high-performance A110, in particular, would become the third variant of the A110 coupe, joining the standard A110 and the A110 Premiere Edition. The convertible A110 has been given a 2020 launch timetable with the rumored SUV model following two years later.
Renault is preparing to launch a small crossover based on the next Clio city car, aiming to woo buyers away from the Ford Fiesta Active, Hyundai i20 Active and other similar small high-riders. What’s a bit strange is that the French automaker already has just such a vehicle in its range, called the Captur, but apparently, this one is going to be placed under it in the model lineup.
We also don’t yet know what Renault wants to call this new model, whether it will use the Clio SUV or a completely new name. One thing’s certain - it won’t be merely a Clio with extra ground clearance and body cladding; its body is taller and looks different compared to the fifth-gen Clio we’ve seen in another batch of spy photos.
2019 Renault Captur Coupe
Renault’s got big plans for its Captur lineup, and it seems that one of those plans involve rolling out a new coupe-crossover that will make its debut in concept form at the 2018 Moscow Motor Show. The French automaker has rolled out at the first teaser of the concept, but more importantly, a heavily camouflaged test prototype has been seen rolling on the streets recently. By all accounts, this test mule is an early production version of the Moscow-bound concept that we will see this August. It’s already pegged to get the Captur Coupe name, and it will likely be shared with Dacia using the same nameplate.
The Next Clio R.S. Could Use Renault’s New 1.8-Liter Turbo From The Megane R.S. and Alpine A110
Renault is considering putting its new 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the next-generation Clio R.S. This might not seem newsworthy to some, but consider this: the 1.8-liter turbo four is the same engine powering the Megane R.S. hot hatch and the Alpine A110. There are now reports that Renault is thinking about using a detuned version of the same engine on the smaller Clio R.S., leaving the potential to make it the most powerful Clio made to date.
2019 Alpine SUV
Shut down in 1995, Renault’s Alpine brand made a comeback 22 years later with a modern interpretation of its iconic A110 sports car. Developed on a bespoke platform and using a design that’s both modern and linked to the original car, the A110 is Renault’s long-awaited response to the Porsche Cayman and the Alfa Romeo 4C. But Alpine isn’t planning to stop here. Word has it that a convertible version of the A110 is also in the works, and the French firm also wants to jump on the SUV bandwagon. Why? Because everyone is doing it nowadays. But what’s this SUV going to be bring to the table?
I’m going to provide an answer to that question in the speculative review below, which includes not only the latest information and rumors but also a detailed rendering of the Alpine-badged hauler. A release date is not yet available, but given that we have yet to see any prototypes on the road, it’s safe to assume that it won’t happen sooner than late 2018. All told, this SUV won’t be available until the 2019 model year. That’s a long wait, but we already have a few juicy details about what’s coming.
Continue reading for the full story.
Alpine Sets Its Sights On An SUV After the A110 Sports Car
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.
A Hot Hatch Renauls Zoe RS Has Us Hoping It Becomes A Reality
We all remember the Zoe RS all-electric concept from the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, right? It caught our attention because it not only featured 460 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque, it also showed that it was capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. In other words, people immediately clamored Renault to build a production version of the concept. Now it appears that it’s exactly what Renault has been planning all along.
Speaking with Autocar, Renault Sport chief Patrice Ratti confirmed that his performance division has already developed a prototype of the all-electric concept that made its debut in Geneva back in March 2017. Ratti didn’t dive into any specifics about the car, but he did say that developed has progressed far enough that such a car is now feasible, something that “wasn’t the case a few years ago.” Still, Ratti’s optimism comes with a few caveats, particularly in the development of the batteries that will likely power the supermini hot hatch, not to mention the goal of ensuring that the car can uphold Renault Sport’s noted credentials in handling and drivability. These are some of the biggest issues that will be addressed if Renault really wants to send the Zoe RS to production. The good news is that there appears to be an optimistic and determined climate in Boulogne to make sure that it happens.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Renault Drops Production Plans For Clio RS16
The Renault Sport Clio RS16 Concept was supposed to get a production model, with recent spy shots suggesting that Renault was already doing test runs for the super hot hatch. Well, douse those hopes and dreams with water because the Clio RS16 will no longer make it to production.
A spokesman for Renault broke the news to Autocar, saying that the company came to this decision in large part because of the start of production of the Alpine sports car. Apparently, the Clio RS16 was supposed to be built at the Alpine Dieppe production facility, the same facility that will handle the production of the Alpine sports car. Seeing as the facility specializes in low volume, hand-built production cars, Renault came to the conclusion that it needed all hands on deck on the sports car, leaving very little resources on the side of the Clio RS16.
Essentially, the Alpine sports car was Renault’s priority because the company had bigger and longer term plans for the model, including using it as the first in a series of Alpine models.
Company execs thought about delaying the RS16’s production until the production for the Alpine sports car got off the ground, but ultimately decided it couldn’t come up with a reasonable timetable - earliest launch would’ve been 2018 - to avoid keeping its customers waiting too long. So, instead of delaying it, Renault went with icing the model completely.
The news comes as a blow to a lot of people who had high expectations for the Clio RS16, myself included. At the time of the concept’s launch last May, the super hot hatch was billed as the highest performance road-going R.S. model in history, an achievement in it of itself considering that Renault Sport was also responsible for pocket rockets like the Megane RS275 Trophy-R. At the very least, the Clio RS16 was also pegged to be a real threat in annihilating the Nurburgring lap record for a front wheel drive car that’s currently held by the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S.
Well, the Golf GTI Clubsport’s lap record is safe…for now.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Renault Scraps Plans To Build RS-Badged SUVs
Despite the growing popularity of SUVs all over the world, Renault has decided not to proceed with plans to develop high-performance, RS-badged versions of the Captur and Kadjar SUVs. Speaking with Motoring, a senior source who works closely with RenaultSport said that those plans have been put to bed in large part because an RS SUV flies against the very identity that has given rise to the automaker’s hot hatchback performance line and the inherent risks that come with it.
Apparently, there’s growing belief within Renault that a performance SUV could damage RenaultSport’s brand integrity, especially if there ends up being little demand for it. It’s a sound explanation that puts the focus on the reality of the industry that not every automaker can build a crossover or an SUV and expect it to do well just because the overall markets for these models continue to grow.
Certain aspects about the automotive supply-and-demand chain have to be addressed before signing off on these models and apparently for Renault, the cons of building RS-badged SUVs far outweighed the pros of building them. The company’s new stance is an about-face from its previous position in 2015 when there were serious considerations of adding an SUV to an RS family that only includes the Clio and Megane hot hatches. The Captur was initially thought to be the likeliest model to get an RS version in part because of its close ties to the Clio. Prototype models of the Capture RS were even reportedly built for “assessment purposes.”
Now those plans have been put on ice and the expectation is that they’re unlikely to be brought back to the table in the near future.
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2018 Renault Clio R.S. 16
The fourth-generation Renault Clio was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Highlighted by a significantly redesigned body and interior, the new hatchback also received brand-new and updated engines. Another major change is that unlike its predecessors, it’s only available in five-door hatchback and wagon versions, with Renault having dropped the three-door hatch and four-door sedan variants. Underpinned by the ubiquitous Alliance B platform co-developed with Nissan, the fourth-gen hatch also spawned a new track-ready model, the R.S. 200, as well as a limited-edition R.S. 220 Trophy EDC. Come 2016, and Renault is working on an even more extreme version of the Clio R.S..
The upcoming hot-hatch was just spotted testing in Europe and by the looks of things it is heavily based on the Clio R.S. 16 concept that Renault unveiled at the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix in May 2016. Named after the company’s 2016 season F1 car, the R.S. 16 was created to mark the Renault Sport’s 40th anniversary and to celebrate the brand’s return as a Formula One team. The concept features unique styling features on the outside, while motivation comes from Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R, a significant update over the Clio R.S. 220 Trophy, the most powerful production Clio to date.
Even though Renault has yet to confirm that the R.S. 16 is set to become a production model, the hatchback’s presence on public roads alongside the upcoming Alpine sports car suggests that Renault wants to take things up a notch when it comes to its small hatchback. Not much is known about it as of this writing and the "R.S. 16" name is not yet official, but we’ve come up with a speculative piece about what this beefed-up Clio might bring to the table.
Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Clio R.S. 16.
2017 Renault Koleos
The original Koleos was Renault’s first crossover ever, and the newest iteration is set to be the brand’s flagship SUV that will compete against the likes of the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Nissan X-Trail, among others. As Renault’s flagship SUV, the Koleos is now larger and offers seating for up to seven. It comes loaded with an automatic four-wheel drive system, new technology, and a decent list of driver assistance systems.
It’s not surprising to see Renault put so much into its new flagship SUV. Renault has been on a mission to drop new models like auto manufacturing is going out of style. With SUVs being snatched up like knickknacks at a convention for the elderly, it’s no surprise that Renault’s SUV lineup is the primary focus of this “plan.” Renault already has the Kwid, Captur, and Kadjar, and now Renault has officially debuted the Renault Koleos at the Beijing Auto Show.
At the debut, Group Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said: “Today in Beijing, we mark the world premiere of the all-new, flagship SUV Renault Koleos.” He continued, “Koleos has been completely re-engineered with powerful styling, unique features, and full SUV capability.” So, now that you know a little about the Renault’s new flagship SUV, let’s take a closer look at it and what it brings to the table.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Renault Koleos.
Upcoming Alpine Sports Car Might Use An AMG Engine
When we got word that Renault Alpine had a new sports car in the works, we made a rendering that depicted what it could look like. When the Geneva Motor Show kicked off this year, we got to lay eyes on the Renault Alpine Vision Concept, a model that’s said to show off about 80 percent of the design cues that will be used on the French brand’s new production model. It was pretty exciting that our rendering was more or less on point compared to the Vision Concept, but now there’s even more exciting news about the future production model.
Even though Renault has an alliance with Nissan, the brand may also be able to tap into an agreement with Daimler to share platforms and drivetrains. Renault’s Executive Vice President of product and planning, Bruno Ancelin, has said, “We have to reduce the diversity of the engines we will use [across Renaultsport and Alpine], which is not against Alpine having a line-up of high-power engines.” He continued, “We have two solutions. Either we take one that is available in the Alliance and we fine tune it for more power. Or we can buy on the market. I heard in the presentation of the new DB11 from Aston Martin they are buying their V8s from AMG. That is possible, too. We have some cooperation with Daimler. We can buy engines on the market – there is no problem to share that.”
So, with any luck, we could see the Alpine A110 production model sport an engine built by none other than Mercedes-AMG. Of course, details at this point are virtually non-existent, but now we finally have an idea of what might power Alpine’s long-awaited sports car. The question now is: If Renault Alpine does tap into that relationship with Daimler, what engine will it pick? And, will Mercedes-AMG engines be used for future models as well? We’ll have to wait and see for sure, but keep reading to hear what I think about it.
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2018 Renault Alpine Convertible
Shut down in 1995 after four decades on the market, the Alpine brand has struggled to return to the market for five years. Having showcased a number of concept cars since 2012, Alpine finally unveiled its first new car in two decades for 2017. Called the A110, it’s a modern rendition of the original A110 sports car and comes into dealerships with big goals, one of which being to compete with the Porsche 718 Cayman. Now that we the highly anticipated Alpine sports car is ready to hit the streets, the company is likely already planning its expansion, because let’s face it, you can’t survive with just one product unless your name is Bugatti.
We already know Alpine is pondering an SUV and a proper sports car family, but the French have yet to talk about it in detail. However, it’s safe to assume that the said sports car lineup will revolve around this new coupe and that the first derivative will be an open-top version. With that in mind, we rendered a convertible model based on the new A110 and put together a speculative review about what it might bring to the table. Keep reading to find out more about the drop-top sports car that could challenge the Porsche 718 Boxster.
Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Alpine Convertible.