By on October 14, 2016

alpine_moments_la-route_bleue-1200x675 (1)

A modern take on one of the sexiest four-cylinder cars of the 1960s will officially debut before the end of the year, and there’s a chance it will find its way to these shores.

Alpine, a reborn subsidiary of Renault, is putting the final touches on the production version of its Vision concept, a practical sports car that harkens back to the glory days of the nearly forgotten brand.

Parent company Renault has high hopes for the mid-engined two-seater, positioning the model as a French competitor to Britain’s Lotus Elise and Italy’s Alfa Romeo 4C. Of course, there’s the Germans, too.

Speaking to Automotive News Europe, Alpine boss Michael van der Sande claims he wants a model that’s “usable as a daily car,” despite its obvious sporting abilities. This could give the model a leg up over its competition by attracting a wider class of buyers. The Vision concept released earlier this year is a larger, more spacious two-seater — a combination of sportscar and sports coupe.

alpine_moments_la-route_bleue-1200x675

Alpine, bought by Renault in 1973 and declared defunct in 1995, spawned a classic in the early ’60s with its A110 coupe, a model the reborn brand means to emulate. A range of new Alpine models could follow, but Renault wants to play it safe. Reportedly, production of the new Alpine won’t top 5,000 units per year, and van der Sande claims the brand’s future depends on “the public reaction to the car.”

Renault motor sports chief Jerome Stoll has said in the past that Alpine will be a global brand, meaning its models aren’t confined by European borders. Will it come to the U.S.? There’s no official word on that, but the model looks appealing as a niche product.

It also wouldn’t be that difficult to bring stateside, as Renault is deeply intertwined with Nissan through a longstanding alliance. After laying some groundwork, select Nissan-Infiniti dealers could deliver the country’s share of Alpines to waiting customers.

The Alpine reportedly sports a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder making about 300 horsepower, and carries a price of about $56,000. If U.S. buyers like what they see, they’d better hope European customers snap up every Alpine in a hurry, boosting the brand’s confidence and making an American entry more likely.

[Images: Alpine Cars]

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22 Comments on “A Retro Mid-Engined Coupe that Could Appear at Nissan Dealers is Almost Ready...”


  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Beautiful. Looks very Audi-esque, at least from the rear.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Nissan would have to be involved?

    “van der Sande claims the brand’s future depends on ‘the public reaction to the car\'”

    If the reaction to the IDx wasn’t enough to get that into production, you might as well put this one in the Indiana Jones warehouse too.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    Great styling and at 56K, not outrageously priced (I was hoping the Alfa 4C would be in a similar range). If it drives as good as it looks it could a pretty nice budget-Cayman competitor.

    Just make sure to offer the manual please.

    • 0 avatar
      SunnyvaleCA

      $56k is between a Cayman and Cayman S in price. Presumably you’ll get more standard equipment on this and the maintenance costs are likely lower, but I wouldn’t call $56k a “budget Cayman.”

      The Cayman’s 6-speed manual transmission is very nice. I’ve been enjoying mine as a daily driver for 8 years. Ever since the PDK replaced the conventional automatic in the Cayman lineup, automatics have outsold the manual cars by a wide margin. So I doubt you’ll see a manual Alpine.

      Did I hear correctly that the Alpine isn’t even offered with manual transmission in Europe? If so, you doubly doomed.

  • avatar
    aajax

    Not much suspension travel there for a daily.

  • avatar
    FalcoDog

    Just please don’t let the Nissan engineers anywhere near this thing. They will put a battery pack and a CVT on it.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    I like it and I hate most everything.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    We need a new 370z.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    It does look like an Audi, and also very sexyful.

    However, $56,000 is not an appropriate price for a Nissan showroom (GTR be damned). It should be marketed as the Alpine, by Infiniti – or something.

    “A new class of cars, the peak of performance and style… Alpine. Available at your Infiniti showroom.”

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    Please, please no CVT.

    I would wager we’ll end up with a different engine over here if it comes as well. It’s pretty though. :)

    I’m a fan of that price class, that’s (at least in Canada) where the RX8 GTs sat, and it was an excellent segment for me.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Love it! Can we just swap all of Renault and Alpine in for Nissan?

    If Nissan disappeared would anybody care? Some rental agencies and sub prime buyers would but I sure wouldn’t.

  • avatar
    RHD

    It would be nice for a modern version of a ’60s classic, which could now be called the Alpine Sunbeam…

    (Yeah, I know, I know…)

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    300 hp 1.8L 4 cyl? Thanks but no thanks.

  • avatar
    stanczyk

    In design department , it’s .. another .. Audi A5/Aston Vantage/Jaguar F/Maserati GT .. clone..

    ..still this car is a good idea as a rival for P.Caymann, L.Evora or Alfa 4C ..

    Renault has a long story of sport participation(including F1 Team), and they used to make Megane and Clio RS -> the best hot-hatches ..

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Renault_Clio_V6_-_Flickr_-_Alexandre_Pr%C3%A9vot_(1).jpg

    https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/renault/ns/renault_f34_ns_110812_600.jpg

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    For erections lasting longer than four hours…

  • avatar

    Erh…. if Europeans buy more, there many not be too many left for the U.S. market. To be honest, that price tag lands it right into Cayman 2.0 territory. Hard to beat the Porsche badge, that stands for performance that has already been hailed in the press and for bulletproof engineering.

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