Renault confirmed that it will continue to resurrect the storied Alpine sports car brand with a new vehicle by 2016, despite terminating its agreement with British automaker Caterham to co-develop the project. Renault and Caterham previously had a 50/50 joint ownership of the Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham, but Renault now fully controls the company under the new name of Société des Automobiles Alpine.
Under the conditions of the original agreement, Caterham would help with development of the two-seat Alpine sports car, which would eventually be produced as separate Alpine and Caterham models. Now Renault will push forward developing the sports car by itself, while Caterham will continue with its own distinct sports car.
A production Alpine sports car would be the first Alpine-badged vehicle since 1994. The company was founded in 1955 as a tuner for Renault, but shifted into a manufacturer of bespoke, Renault-powered sports cars for production, rally, and racing applications.
Said to be the “Berlinette of the 21st century,” referring to the old Alpine A110 which debuted in 1961, the next Alpine sports car will be built in Renault’s Dieppe plant in Normandy, France. It will purportedly be related to the A110-50 concept car from 2012 (pictured), which used a mid-mounted 400-hp, 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 mated to six-speed sequential manual transmission.
Renault claims that it is now 90 percent finished with design specifications for the new Alpine sports car, while it prepares to build the chassis and bodywork (early rumors suggested it would use an aluminum frame akin to that of the Renault Sport Spider). Project manager Bernard Ollivier says that the vehicle’s final interior design will be determined before summertime.