Archive for the ‘Renault Alpine’ Category
After several years of rumors and teasing, Renault finally relaunched Alpine and unveiled the brand’s first road-going sports car in more than two decades. To those who aren’t familiar with the original Alpine A110, this new sports car is probably an enigma. The Alpine name doesn’t mean much to the average Joe nowadays, while the fact that it’s developed by Renault doesn’t give it the exposure it deserves. But I think that the new A110 has the potential to become a Porsche Cayman killer, and I’m going to explain why.
For starters, this isn’t your regular higher performance car based on an existing platform. The A110 rides on a bespoke chassis developed specifically for this application, while its lightweight, aluminum body is modern, yet aerodynamic and bears a close resemblance to the original, iconic A110 of the 1960s. In other words, while the Cayman doesn’t have that much history to brag about design-wise, the A110 is based on a vehicle that was launched two years before the Porsche 911. Pretty solid heritage, huh?
But looks are a matter of taste, and as I said before, Alpine is a rather obscure brand after operating as a niche carmaker in Europe only, so let’s move to the things that really matter to a sports car.
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It took Renault about three years to transform the 2012 Alpine A110-50 Concept into a production-friendly vehicle, and the road-ready sports car is finally ready to hit the market. Come 2017 and the French company relaunched the Alpine brand at the Geneva Motor Show. As expected, the production model shares many design features with the concept cars Alpine showcased in recent years.
The most recent of them is dubbed Alpine Celebration Concept and broke cover ahead of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was featured again a couple of weeks later in the year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and looked ready to hit the streets with minor modifications here and here.
As the name suggests, the Celebration Concept celebrated six decades since Alpine was established in Dieppe, France. Also, it pays homage to the classic 1961 -1973 Alpine A110, a sports car the French built from 1961 to 1977. Introduced as an evolution of the A108, the two-door “Berlinette” was designed by Giovanni Michelotti and used a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Among being Alpine’s most iconic model, the A110 was also a successful race car, winning the manufacturer’s title at the end of 1973 World Rally Championship.
All told, the new Alpine has a lot of heritage to build on and this is more than evident in the final production model.
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Renault’s long drawn out plan to bring back the Alpine brand is now taking shape with the arrival of the mid-engined Alpine A120 sports car. The sports coupe is expected to make its debut at the start of 2017 ahead of the planned release sometime in the third quarter of the year. But new details have emerged about the Alpine A120 as there now appears to be plans to expand the brand’s lineup with different variants of the A120.
Word from Autocar reveals that a convertible is expected to follow the coupe in due time and a high performance variant is also in the pipeline. Details surrounding these additional variants are still being kept under wraps, but it is understood that both models are already in “advanced” development so information about them could be coming sooner than later.
For now, all eyes are on the A120 as it gears up for its long-awaited unveiling, which in itself has been years in-the-making as a result of several false starts that plagued the project. But now that it’s getting close to finally becoming a real thing, the expectation is that the A120 will be using a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that will develop close to 300 horsepower, giving it a higher output than both the 240-horsepower Alfa Romeo 4C and right about the same figure as the Porsche 718 Cayman. All of the power generated by the A120’s turbo four will likely course through a revised version of the Renault Clio RS’s six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just under 4.5 seconds.
Once sales for the A120 commences next year, the sports coupe is tipped to get a starting price of about £50,000 to £55,000, or the equivalent of about $53,000 to $58,000 based on current exchange rates. Alpine managing director Michael van der Sande also hinted that production for the car could range from 5,000 to 7,000 units on an annual basis with models being sold in a handful of dealerships across Europe. Don’t expect the A120 to hit U.S. shores anytime soon.
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It took Renault about three years to transform the 2012 Alpine A110-50 Concept into a production-friendly vehicle, but we’re still at least 12 months away from the car we’ll see in dealerships. With that in mind, I thought it’s the best time to gather everything there is to know about the production car (due in 2016) and roll out the speculative review below, which also includes a rendering based on Alpine’s most recent concept vehicle.
Dubbed the 2015 Alpine Celebration Concept, the study in question broke cover ahead of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans and featured again a couple of weeks later at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Even though Alpine didn’t say when the production car is due to arrive, the concept looked as if it’s ready to hit the streets with but minor modifications here and here.
As the name suggests, the Celebration Concept celebrates six decades since Alpine was established in Dieppe, France. Also, it pays homage to the classic 1961 -1973 Alpine A110, a sports car the French built from 1961 to 1977. Introduced as an evolution of the A108, the two-door “Berlinette” was designed by Giovanni Michelotti and used a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Among being Alpine’s most iconic model, the A110 was also a successful race car, winning the manufacturer’s championship at the end of 1973 World Rally Championship.
All told, the new Alpine has a lot of heritage to build on.
Updated 09/13/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Renault Alpine out for a new testing session, and this time wearing the production body. Expect an official debut for the 2017 Geneva Car Show, next March.
Continue reading to learn more about the new Renault Alpine.
Back in 2011, Alpine announced that it would produce its first car in two decades as part of a joint-venture with British sports car firm Caterham. Initially scheduled to arrive in 2015, the new Alpine was delayed after the French company and Caterham decided to drop their partnership, despite having a co-developed vehicle in the works. And, while Alpine continued to develop its own version of the sports car, Caterham’s design never made it into the spotlight. Until today, when Drive, the design firm that sketched the sports car, decided to share the story and some photos from their studio.
Dubbed C120, Caterham’s version of the sports car was designed in the same studio as the AS1. Drive’s team of designers and digital modelers were given a space within Alpine’s design office, which lead to the C120 and AS1 clay models facing each other in the same room. Not surprisingly, they share the overall proportion and some styling features, but at the same time they sport unique cues of their own.
While the Alpine obviously draws cues from the iconic A110, Caterham’s take on the project is unlike any other model they’ve produced so far. Which makes sense actually, as every Caterham to date was based on the Seven. Granted, the front grille and positioning of the headlamps remind me of the Seven to some extent, but everything else is new. Around back, the C120 shares many elements with the AS1, such as the slender taillights and trapezoidal diffuser insert, but other than that, they are quite different, as in the Caterham uses a more conventional engine lid with a rectangular glass area rather than Alpine’s wraparound windscreen.
Moving onto the sides, the Caterham features more muscular fenders and a larger quarter glass, and a more fastback roofline toward the rear. The C-pillar is also thicker, giving it a sportier look. The front fascia also seems more aggressive thanks to its big main, Seven-inspired grille and large outlets under each headlamp. All told, the C120 feels more modern and balanced than the Alpine, and it’s also more exciting to look at.
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Shut down in 1995 after four decades on the market, the Alpine brand has been struggling to return for about five years now. Set to revive the iconic A110, Renault has already showcased on number of concept cars, starting with the A110-50 in 2012 an ending with the Alpine Vision of 2016. The latter shares about 80 percent of its design with the production model and the company promised that a final version will hit the market by February 2017.
Now that we the highly anticipated Alpine sports car is around the corner, 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 (reportedly called the AS1) and that the first derivative will be an open-top version.
With that in mind, we rendered a convertible model based on the production-ready Alpine Vision Concept 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.
So after the fall out with Caterham which endangered the Alpine A110 revival project, Renault decided to go it alone and they are now ready to preview the final design of the car with the Renault Alpine Vision concept. A production version will be revealed before the end of the year.
This is, of course, fantastic news, even though some people may complain that the new Renault Alpine Vision could have been more loyal to the design of the original. At any rate, what we see in these pictures look good enough, and even if it didn’t, just the fact Renault is launching a new sports car is a cause for celebration.
The 2017 Renault Alpine Vision will be powered by a new four-cylinder turbocharged engine made by Renault Sport, and although they are not saying yet what kind of power this unit produces, they have revealed the 0 to 10 km/h time for the car and it’s “less than 4.5 seconds.” The new Alpine, just like the original, will owe most of its performance prowess to lack of weight.
“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 post Renault Alpine Vision Previews Upcoming Production Model appeared first on Motorward.
Our intrepid snappers recently caught what we believe to be a 2016 Renault Alpine test mule doing its best impression of a 2012-2015 Lotus Exige S. While we can’t draw many conclusions about the Alpine’s final shape from this heavily camouflaged prototype, we can say with utmost certainty that the bulbous rear bumper is definitely not a stock Exige item. That and the vents in the lower portion of the blacked-out rear window indicate the Alpine could have a rear-engine layout like its ancestors.
What engine will be back there is somewhat of a mystery, but we have previously speculated that it will be the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the 2014 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy.. It’s compact enough to fit behind the rear axle and light enough to not negatively impact weight distribution. It produces 271 horsepower in its hot-hatch application, but it’s mooted to produce around 300 horsepower for the Alpine. Either that or a newly developed 1.8-liter with up to 296 horsepower.
Renault unveiled a concept version of the new Alpine, called the 2015 Renault Alpine Celebration Concept at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, but we also recently put together a rendering of what we think the final product will look like. The 1961-1973 Alpine A110 built between 1961 and 1977 is a clear influence, but it’s not overtly retro. Like the A110, it will have integrated fog lamps in the front bumper, compact dimensions and a sporty fastback profile that flows seamlessly into the rear.
Also like the A110, low mass is likely to be a priority. Expect a sub-2,400-pound weight, which should help provide exceptional agility and acceleration. This is one we’re really looking forward too.
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After years of rumors, a concept car, and a sudden cancellation of its partnership with Caterham, Alpine has finally unveiled a near-production version of its upcoming sports car. Brought into the spotlight six decades since the brand was established in Dieppe, France, and exactly 20 years since it had been declared defunct, the Alpine Celebration Concept made its maiden appearance ahead of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The vehicle’s debut at the Circuit de la Sarthe is far from just a marketing move, as Alpine has a long and storied history with Le Mans, where its cars had raced in large numbers in the 1960s. What’s more, the Alpine A442B won the iconic race in 1978, defeating a horde of Porsche 936s ran by both factory teams and privateers. Lastly, the Celebration Concept made its rolling debut on the same track Alpine has been racing in the LMP2 class for three consecutive years.
Even though Renault didn’t say when the production car is due to arrive (I expect that to happen in 2016), the Celebration Concept will attend a number of special events throughout 2015, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Alpine Saga reunion in Dieppe. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at the concept that signals the return of Alpine as a road car manufacturer.
Update 10/7/2015: The Renault-Alpine Celebration Concept was recently filmed at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
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Alpine isn’t exactly a brand that too many people have heard of. This is party due to the fact that French cars aren’t exactly common in the U.S., but also because Alpine hasn’t built a road car in 20 years. But there have been some important developments with this Renault offshoot over the past few years. Renault has been racing LMP2 cars at Le Mans under the Alpine name for a few years now, and we’ve also seen road car concepts, most recently the 2015 Renault Alpine Celebration Concept, which is seen at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in this video.
The concept is inspired, not surprisingly, by the 1961-1973 Renault Alpine A110, Alpine’s most famous car and a highly successful rally car. The car enjoyed a long production run, from 1961 to 1977, reaching the height of its motorsports fame in the early ’70s, with 1973 being a particularly good year. The car was based on the Renault R8, a rather pedestrian rear-engine compact sedan. It started with the same engine as well, but by 1970, horsepower had more than doubled, from 66 to 138. It was given a curvaceous new body as well, and the cues of that body can be seen in the concept.
We’ve been waiting for a new Alpine sports car for years, and now that it has arrived it is yet another “celebration” concept that previews a car that might be released next year. The Alpine Celebration Concept was unveiled at Le Mans where it served as a slight distraction from the race.
‘Just do it already!’ is what one might feel would be the appropriate thing yell at Renault at this point. It’s not a hyper car for God’s sake. The thing is just a modern-day interpretation of a mildly significant sports car named A110 Berlinetta from 60 years ago.
They first tried the A110-50 three years ago which for some reason was deemed not good enough. So they went back to the drawing board and came up with the Alpine Celebration Concept which they say is closer in spirit to the original.
In some ways, the Alpine Celebration Concept will be Renault’s answer to Alfa Romeo 4C. The production version is said to weigh around 1,000 kg and powered by a mid-mounted small, turbocharged engine that sends its power to the rear wheels via a double-clutch transmission.
Sounds dope, but Renault needs to stop teasing us with concepts and drawings and build the damn thing. Unless, of course, they are not sure it will be successful, in which case they run the risk ruining the reputation of the original Alpine as well.
Newly reestablished automobile brand Alpine (not to be confused with Alpina) hasn’t launched a new product in more than two decades, but the French are already pondering an entire family of sports cars, as well as an SUV. That’s the word from Renault executive vice president Bruno Ancelin, who hinted that the Alpine badge could be used to enable Renault to compete with premium manufacturers such as Audi and Porsche. Now that’s a mighty big plan for a firm as small as Alpine!
Although Ancelin refused to elaborate on the matter, he did say Alpine will turn to alliance members Nissan and Daimler for know-how. As for establishing a full lineup of sports cars, the project is still in its infancy, as Alpine has yet to determine its priorities in the market and which new products would make sense financially. What’s truly relevant right now from Ancelin’s statement is that Alpine’s first sports car, due in 2016 for the 2017 model year, will be called the AS1, which stands for Alpine Sport 1.
“We are working on the first car, and out of the first car we are working on the line-up. So model number one, which we call the AS1 – Alpine Sport 1– we need to see further and [then we’ll] look to the complementary models we will have in the line-up,” he told Auto Express.
Continue reading to learn more about the future Renault Alpine models.
Renault has been struggling to revive the Alpine brand for quite a number of years now. At first, the French teamed up with Caterham in a joint-venture that would have enabled both companies to build their very own sports cars using the same underpinnings. However, the collaboration didn’t last very long, as disagreements on the development of the sports cars caused significant delays. As a result, in June 2014 it was announced that each company will build its own sports car. Moving forward, Renault acquired full ownership of Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham and dropped “Caterham” from the official company name, claiming the company has “made some good progress” on its own.
While things have been rather quiet on the Apine front the past three months, an unnamed Renault spokesman has been quoted saying that the sports car is on schedule for a 2017 release, thus confirming earlier reports about its debut in 2016. The automaker is “on track to deliver the model to customers in about two years,” the unnamed spokesperson told Automotive News Europe.
Given the timetable, I’m tempted to believe the Alpine sports car will show itself to the world at the 2016 Paris Motor Show before hiting the road in 2017.
Once the first Alpine in decades reaches dealerships, the French manufacturer hopes to sell around 3,000 examples a year, Alpine head Bernard Ollivier told Reuters in an interview. “In terms of scale, on average [annual production] volume will be about 3,000 cars, with a peak of 5,000 initially due to the novelty factor,” he said.
Needless to say, that’s mighty optimistic of Alpine, a brand that’s far from being of the mainstream variety. Sure, there are quite a few Alpine enthusiasts getting excited about the thought of the company’s first product in decades – myself included — but very few will actually fork Alfa Romeo 4C-like money to take one home. Alpine will probably have to settle selling some 500 examples a year.
Click past the jump to read more about Renault-Alpine’s future supercar.