Renault’s Alpine Brand Allegedly Coming to America
Renault is vying to get the Alpine brand into the United States by 2028. Though it curiously doesn’t seem interested in selling the A110 enthusiasts have been gushing about ever since the rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car was revived in 2017. Instead, the French automaker wants to go with electrified crossovers.
Considering the company’s current mindset, the decision to lead with electric models was probably unavoidable. The Alpine brand essentially exists to absorb Renault’s Sport entities and is clearly trying to position itself as a rival to Porsche – which sells more examples of the Cayenne and Macan than any other model. Those vehicles will be Alpine’s primary target, with the A110 existing to keep the Porsche 718 on its toes. But even the French sports coupe is supposed to receive an all-electric successor sometime after 2026.
Though the plan to break out in the U.S. doesn’t seem terribly realistic right now. Alpine is a relatively small unit and would need to be scaled up rather dramatically to rationalize expanding into our market – let alone becoming a serious contender for Porsche.
Renault made its announcement on Wednesday, with Automobiles Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi suggesting there would be a midsize electric crossover on the U.S. market by 2027 or 2028. This will reportedly be followed promptly by a slightly larger model.
“The U.S. is the main destination for these cars,” Automotive News quoted Rossi as saying during a press call.
But those won’t be the only new models in Alpine’s lineup. The company intends on launching a bevy of EVs in the coming years, starting with the Renault 5 Alpine. Slated for the second half of 2024, the small hatchback will be the performance version of the upcoming Renault 5. In 2025, it’s to be followed by a small performance crossover utilizing a modified Renault-Nissan platform (likely the CMF-EV). The all-electric version of the A110 is next on the docket and is currently in development in collaboration with Lotus – which is presently owned by and receiving technology from China’s Geely group.
These models will reportedly receive more powerful electric motors and different battery chemistry from mainstream Renault Group models and focus on delivering a higher performance threshold and added luxury. They’ll also be helping to pad Alpine’s numbers ahead of those crossovers it wants to see sold in the United States.
“We want to go to the U.S., which will create the bulk of the extra volume above and beyond the hot hatch and sporty car we are launching in 2025, and the successor to the A110,” Rossi said.
Alpine has a ways to go before it’s really in a position to make these kinds of moves with any confidence. But it’s working on things. Renault is already repositioning its F1 team under the Alpine banner and expects to continue marketing the performance unit as it grows.
Still, these are early days and the company has acknowledged that it doesn’t really have much to say about the models targeting our market right now. Though there’s speculation that Alpine might work with Infiniti to figure out how to build performance EVs for the United States – as Renault doesn’t have a lot of larger vehicles to use as a template. When that prospect was floated by Rossi, he only said that Alpine models would be more “dynamic” and performance-focused. Borrowing from Geely is also a possibility – which would have the Americanized crossovers borrowing from Volvo, Polestar, or even a brand that’s presently exclusive to China.
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