A Retro Mid-Engined Coupe That Could Appear at Nissan Dealers is Almost Ready

a retro mid engined coupe that could appear at nissan dealers is almost ready

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, 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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  • APaGttH APaGttH on Oct 15, 2016

    For erections lasting longer than four hours...

  • Voyager Voyager on Oct 20, 2016

    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.

  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2022&year2=2022&make=Jeep&baseModel=Wrangler&srchtyp=ymm&pageno=1&rowLimit=50Annual fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.