A 300hp Alpine will tear up the roads

By RELAXNEWS | 9 July 2015

PARIS: Renault has announced its intention to relaunch an Alpine program. The plan is to release a first model by the end of 2016, probably inspired by the "Celebration" show-car first presented at Le Mans and then at Goodwood in June 2015.

Presented at Le Mans ahead of the prestigious 24-hour race, and then at Goodwood during the Festival of Speed, the Alpine Celebration bills itself as a sporty two-seater coupe in the spirit of the old competition Alpines.

The car stands out thanks to its relatively low profile, sloping, creased hood, sculpted sides, distinctive rear window and other design details are all clear echoes of models like the A110 that have featured so prominently in Alpine's glorious history.

According to industry press, this car foreshadows a future production model that will likely have a four-cylinder 1.8-liter gas engine pushing out between 250 and 300hp and with a total weight of approximately 1.2 tons. This new Alpine could even roll out with different power units for different versions, making it a direct rival to cars such as the Alfa Romeo 4C and the Lotus Elise.

The first model, in the spirit of the A110, could make its first appearance at the 2016 Paris Auto Show and be commercialized shortly thereafter. Other Alpine projects are also supposedly in the works, including an SUV.

Founded in 1955 by Jean Redele, a French manufacturer of racing and rear-mounted Renault engines, Alpine merged with Renault in 1965. Beyond its production cars, the brand made a name for itself in rallying, where it won the constructor's championship in 1973, and also at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the Renault Alpine dominated the race in 1978. Though the brand closed shop in 1995, the "Alpine" name made a comeback in 2013 in endurance racing.

A brand relaunch had been highly expected following Alpine's aborted partnership with Caterham and the Renault group catalogue could now see itself expand to include four distinct brands, each one with its own specific target demographic Dacia for low-cost, Renault for the general public, Alpine for sports cars and Initial Paris for the high-end market.