Alpine will make a comeback in the market in 2017 with a new sports car that was previewed by the Alpine Celebration concept at Le Mans this year, but that’s not all what Renault has in mind for its iconic performance brand. The French automaker is planning to offer three Alpine models in the future, as per a report from Motoring.com.au.
The launch of the future models however would depend on the success of the sports car that comes first.
“It’s a clear positioning: sporty premium car with all the DNA of Alpine which is basically a mix of [light] weight and power of the engine, with agility and what made fans for the Alpine at the time it was on the road,” said Jerome Stoll, Executive Vice President, Chief Performance Officer, Sales & Marketing, Chairman of Renault Sport at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show.
While Europe will be the primary market for the performance brand, by having a three-model line-up, the company plans to tap U.S.A. and China too.
“But not only to develop one car but to develop a range, so we have three cars in mind, not only for Europe but also for the rest of the world. We’re contemplating China, maybe the United States. So everything for the time being is on paper. [A] decision is to be taken earlier next year – what will be the future product strategy and the market strategy.”
The Renault brand won’t be launched in the U.S. though, Mr. Stoll confirmed. To sell the Alpine vehicles in the North American market, Infiniti’s outlets may be used, he suggested. Infiniti is the premium brand of Renault’s sister brand Nissan.
“We are in the [Renault-Nissan] Alliance, so it makes sense to have this product next to the other one. It will be separate anyway from the other one to increase the showroom traffic.”
A report released in May said that the second model in Alpine’s line-up will be a crossover. But Mr. Stoll turns down the possibility.
“I think we have to restart the brand with the DNA of Alpine, which is the Berlinette. It will be an updated Berlinette, if I may say. It will be a good [combination] of power and weight. Actually I drove a prototype of this car and frankly it’s amazing. I’m not a specialist but I have plenty of fun with my poor driving and then I was driven by a professional pilot and I have plenty of other fun, you know.”
Mr. Stoll said that Renault is considering a hybrid variant for an Alpine model. It won’t be of the upcoming sports car though and could be of a separate model based on a Nissan platform.
Moreover, Laurens Van Den Acker, Senior Vice President, Corporate Design, Renault Group, told the publication that the design of the upcoming Alpine sports car has been signed off and is “lovingly close” to the Alpine Celebration concept.