When Nissan first partnered with Renault, there was speculation that some Renaults might come to the United States badged as Nissans. After all, Nissan has a reputation for an offshoot lineup of quirky vehicles as well. Just look at the Cube, Juke, and Murano CrossCabriolet!
Swapping badges hasn’t quite happened yet, and with a new Alpine, we wish it would. Renault’s desire to bring back the iconic Alpine has been floated in the automotive press for years. In October 2007 Renault’s head of marketing Patrick Blain reportedly gave it the green light.
A launch was supposed to take place in 2010, but issues with the global economy delayed the car’s debut. Earlier this year Renault tried again with the mid-engine Alpine A110-50 Concept unveiled at the Formula One Grand Prix de Monaco. The A110-50 was a preview of what to expect from the new sports car. Renault’s head of marketing Stephen Norman says the production version of the new Alpine is scheduled for a debut sometime in 2015. The car is being developed in cooperation with Caterham, and will be aimed at the Audi TTS and Porsche Boxster.
Via Autocar, Norman says the car will “not be soft, but not hardcore like a Peugeot 106 Rallye. You can’t betray the DNA of Alpine. That’s a third of what the car will be.” Regarding styling, the new Alpine will be uniquely French. We wouldn’t expect anything less. Renault intends to price the car as a halo vehicle with a price tag of around 50,000 GBP (around $81,000 USD at current exchange rates). As far as the powertrain goes, the Alpine will only have around 250 horsepower. However, it will enable spritely performance, thanks to a low curb weight. We think it should be brought over to the U.S. as a limited run model, but we doubt it will be developed to U.S. specifications.