New Alpine Coming [not Shown]

Martin Schwoerer
by Martin Schwoerer
new alpine coming not shown

While BMW and Porsche look like they're intent on reducing their brand equity, other car makers are busy attacking the field of sporty & sexy. First, FIAT announced it's rejuvenating the Abarth brand. Abarths were small cars that buzzed and bit, and stung like the scorpion in the company's logo. Abarth was fierce in the 1960s, sad in the 1970s and dead by 1980, but enthusiasts still lust for the cachet. And now Alpine. I'll never forget a nail-biting drive a friend gave me in 1982 in his A110, when he out-accelerated and out-maneuvered a Porsche 911E. From 1954 to 1994, Alpines were ass-engined fun cars for pistonheads who wanted an alternative to Porsche, and could live with a degree of rawness, as well as with so-so reliability. And now, according to AM Online, Renault-Nissan (incidentally, upon acquisition of Russia's Avtovaz now the world's third largest carmaker) is working on two Alpine-branded models: an affordable, fun to drive sports car and a top-of-the-line luxury model. "Think Mazda MX-5 or even Smart Roadster and you are on the right lines", said a Renault exec. "Ideally we would like to have an affordable sports car on a rear wheel drive platform that is great fun to drive.” Renault is rumoured to be unveiling a 'desirable' concept car (possibly re-introducing the Alpine name) at the Geneva Motor Show on March 4. We will report from Switzerland, and rejoice should the day cometh.

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4 of 18 comments
  • Ed niedermeyer Ed niedermeyer on Feb 18, 2008

    Hmm... maybe I should run across the street and ask my neighbor with the two rusting Fuegos if he'd consider a new Alpine. Based on the concept photos which are now available over at AM, I'd have to say that I'd be tempted...

  • Andy777 Andy777 on Feb 18, 2008

    A Fiat 131 Super Brava is EXACTLY what I ended up getting, Terry, from an Ann Arbor,Michigan dealer. Sucker ran for 6 years, badly, until I sold it to a poor soul in St.Louis for a few bucks. Outfitted with rectangular Cibies and an Ansa exhaust (of course) I was the stylish yet practical law school student back in the day.

  • Andy777 Andy777 on Feb 18, 2008

    I also test drove a Fuego (yes, I was one of the 10). Just goes to show what a messed up young man I was.

  • Jordan Tenenbaum Jordan Tenenbaum on Feb 18, 2008

    I will own a Citroën SM one of these days, I will.