No, Renault won’t officially unveil its long-awaited conceptual tribute to the fabled Alpine-Renault A110 until later this week – but a Web site in Europe claims it has the first leaked photo of the Alpine reincarnate.
French publication MotorSport Magazine, which first broke the images, says what you’re looking at is the real concept deal, much, as does fabled BBC publication Top Gear. If true, it looks quite a bit like Renault’s 2010 DeZir concept – which, ironically, we noted bore a vague resemblance to vintage Alpine-Renault sports coupes. This new image appears much like a DeZir, albeit one cranked to eleven. Dramatic wheel flares, preposterously large wings, and gaping air intakes trigger flashbacks to Group 4-prepped A110s. Incroyable.
What lurks beneath the skin of la nouvelle Alpine, however, is allegedly wildly different from the original concept. Don’t look for the DeZir’s fancy electric powertrain; according to TopGear, the Alpine concept is built atop the mechanicals of the wild Renaultsport Megane Trophy race car. As such, a 3.5-liter V-6, placed aft of the cabin in keeping with Alpine tradition, could provide about 450 hp to the rear wheels.
We’re anxious to learn more about the concept itself – but we’re even more interested in learning exactly what plans Renault has in store for its Alpine brand, which has essentially laid dormant since the discontinuation of the A610 in 1995. Over the past several months, we’ve heard Renault officials insist they’re serious about resurrecting the brand. Rumor has it they’re certainly planning on launching a new sports coupe – perhaps atop a platform shared with Nissan and Daimler – that, could pack a 300-hp punch. Executives have also mulled selling the vehicle in both China and North America to amortize costs. If so, and if it continues to wear the Alpine name, it would be the first Alpine-Renault to be officially sold in North America, since plans to sell the GTA in our market in the late 1980s were ultimately scrapped.
For now, it’s a wait-and-see process. The first step, we’re told, is to wait until Friday, when more images and details are expected to emerge from Renault.
UPDATE: Additional photos have leaked ahead of the concept's Friday reveal -- we've included four below.
Source: MotorSport Magazine, TopGear