Thirteen years since the famed Renault tuner faded into obscurity, the Alpine brand may return by 2011 with the help of both Nissan and Renault.
Autocar reports that Renault product planners are seriously investigating a low-cost, high-performance sports car to carry the Alpine badge.; Expect the new car to be a serious competitor to the Mazda MX-5, albeit with more power (rumored to be close to 220 hp) and a slightly higher price tag.
Although prior Alpine-Renaults used a rear-engine layout, it seems as if the new car may have its motor in front.; While sources tell Autocar that the car won’t be a clone of the Nissan 370Z (which is deemed too heavy and expensive for an Alpine), it may use a number of components from the car on an all-new platform.
That idea isn’t unlike Nissan’s Urge, a rear-drive roadster concept that premiered at the 2006 Detroit auto show.; Smaller than the 350Z and sized closer to the MX-5, the Urge still used a number of 350Z components to (feasibly) reduce cost.
Launching the car would give Renault its first true-sports car since the demise of the quirky Renault Sport Spider – itself built in the former Alpine factory.; Expect to see the new Alpine launch between 2010 and 2011, with a possible Nissan-badged version – suggested to be a 200SX successor – following soon afterward.