Whispers of Alpine’s return have surfaced over the last few years, but the latest debut of the Alpine Vision concept at the Monte Carlo Rally is the best evidence so far that Renault Sport’s pet project is really happening. Leveraging classic proportions from the hallowed Alpine A110, the Alpine Vision concept boasts stylish retro design cues wrapped around an enticing mid-engine layout.
Just like the Alfa Romeo 4C and the upcoming Porsche 718 Cayman, the Alpine Vision utilizes a four-cylinder turbocharged engine driving the rear wheels. The focus is on balance, agility, and lightness, but the Vision is far from slow. Renault predicts a 0-60-mph sprint of about 4.4 seconds.
Fans of the Alpine A110 will notice a few callouts present in the Alpine Vision’s design. The narrow ridge on the middle of the hood is instantly recognizable, while quad headlights up front recreate the shape of the A110’s front face and rally lights. The L-shaped character line running from the front fender and curving down toward the rear wheel is another homage to the classic model, as are the sloped C-pillars, curved rear window, and low rear decklid. “Our job is to faithfully re-interpret famous Alpines of the past and project Alpine into the future with a beautifully designed, agile, high-performance sports car,” said Alpine managing director Michael van der Sande, in a statement.
The interior is very driver-focused, with a snug cockpit and race-inspired controls. A trio of buttons controls gear selection, flanked by carbon fiber and a flashy red starter button with a plastic cover. Simple knobs and fighter jet-like toggle switches handle additional controls.
The overall package is a maturation of the earlier Alpine Celebration concept from last summer, which commemorated Alpine’s 60th anniversary.
The Alpine Vision concept will spawn a production model that will debut later this year. Renault says the final version will be very close to the Vision concept’s design, weight, and capability. It will go on sale in 2017 in Europe before reaching other markets, but don’t hold your breath on it showing up in U.S. showrooms.