2016 Renault Alpine to be crowned with 300bhp hardcore special
This kind of Autocar image shows how a hotter variation of the Alpine could look
Renault will crown its upcoming Alpine sports car range that has a 300bhp hardcore variation, as latest spy pictures show the £50,000 style in testing
The relaunched Alpine brand will be topped by a hardcore 300bhp variation of its brand-new sports car within two years – at which time of which is actually also likely to launch an SUV to capitalise on the booming demand for upmarket high-riding cars.
The high-performance variation of the brand-new sports car will follow around a year after the base style is actually launched in 2016. Hinted at by the Alpine Celebration concept car at Le Mans This kind of year, the brand-new car is actually tipped be called Alpine A120, despite earlier speculation about the AS1 name.
According to reports within the French press, power for both the standard car in addition to the more extreme variation is actually likely to come coming from the same 1.8-litre TCe engine, located in a mid-rear position just in front of the rear wheels in addition to linked to the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission of which has been developed for the brand-new Renault Talisman.
The engine is actually, in fact, said to be based on a modified variation of the Clio RS’s 1.6-litre unit, because of which is actually lightweight in addition to allowed the company to save on the development costs of a bespoke unit.
For the fastest variation of the A120, power output will be extended coming from around 250bhp to around 300bhp by more aggressive turbocharging. of which should make of which a rival for the Porsche Cayman 3.4 S, which has 320bhp nevertheless, at 1415kg, is actually heavier than the Alpine’s expected kerb weight of 1100kg.
The more highly tuned variation of the engine will need a heavily remodelled cooling system. Insiders suggest the firm’s designers have taken the opportunity to introduce ducts down the side of the auto to improve airflow without disturbingthe front-end aerodynamics. At the same time, the modifications will give the more extreme A120 significantly more dramatic visual presence.
However, the power output of the range-topper is actually still significantly below of which of faster Caymans. Alpine bosses are said to have settled on a formula of offering a greater emphasis on lightweight construction in addition to optimum traction than outright power, because of which provides a better link to the firm’s historical successes with the A110.
Many of the Alpine’s underpinnings are said to be made using advanced aluminium construction techniques. Engineers are rumoured to have been set a 1000kg target when the project began in 2013, nevertheless This kind of was deemed achievable only if the firm used carbonfibre bodywork, which was too expensive for production.
The most extreme Alpine will receive various other visual modifications – including front LED lights that has a rally-style cross on them, to evoke memories of the Monte Carlo Rally-winning A110 cars – as well as being engineered for more extreme performance.
Beyond of which, external differences coming from the Celebration concept are said to be minimal, beyond the removal of the racing stickers in addition to the toning down of various other racing features, such as the exaggerated tow hook in addition to single-nut racing wheels.
Spy pictures of the Alpine testing under Lotus Exige bodywork have revealed of which the auto will have a cutting-edge Inner surface, with an Audi TT-style digital dashboard.
Engineers are also said to have focused on providing a driving position optimised for enthusiasts in addition to based around the relationship between the location of the bucket seats, pedals in addition to steering wheel. Gearshifts will be possible via steering wheel-mounted paddles, with the focus on giving a racing car feel.
Prices are likely to start at around £40,000 for the base car, rising to more than £50,000 for the high-performance A120.
Renault has previously said the brand-new style will stick to Alpine’s tradition of modest power output with light weight. The brand-new style is actually set to weigh around 1100kg.
Alpine Celebration unveiled at 2015 Le Mans 24hr race
the auto was present at La Sarthe ostensibly to support the entry of an Alpine-backed contender within the LMP2 category of the endurance classic.
The Alpine Celebration bears strong resemblances to Alpines of old, most notably the A110 Berlinetta which has clearly influenced the brand-new car’s scalloped bonnet in addition to twin spotlights mounted high on the front bumper. The rear is actually more contemporary, although there are clear references to the A110 within the way the shoulder line tapers away beyond the back wheels, not to mention the blue in addition to orange paint scheme.
Alpine design boss Antony Villain said, “We envisaged the Alpine Celebration show car as the crowning glory of six decades of Alpine style in addition to motor racing. nevertheless we wanted to go even further by reaching out to a much broader audience.”
Renault has not released any mechanical information about the concept beyond confirming its mid-engined format. However, the Celebration is actually understood to be the logical offspring of the work began in 2012 between Alpine in addition to Caterham.
of which project was dissolved when Renault bought back the British sports car brand’s stake in 2014. At the time, Renault said of which might continue using the technology developed by the two firms. The Celebration is actually said to use the project’s platform in addition to construction principles.
The most recent Alpine concept, 2012’s A110-50, featured the V6 engine coming from a Renault Mégane Trophy race car. However, of which is actually understood of which the production variation of the Celebration will adhere more closely to the A110’s tradition of modest power outputs in addition to light weight by featuring a four-cylinder petrol engine driving the rear wheels.
The A110 successor is actually seen by senior Renault officials as a crucial way of ‘re-legitimising’ the Alpine name, in addition to opening up the potential for a wider range of products.
Laurens van den Acker, Renault’s design boss, said, “The challenge with Alpine is actually to somehow fill This kind of gap of more than 20 years in addition to do a product of which is actually believable. the auto genuinely needs to create the foundation of Alpine. We need to create the 911 of Alpine. If we do of which properly, then we can consider cars like the Panamera.”The production Alpine will almost certainly be built within the company’s original factory in Dieppe.
The plant is actually still under Renault ownership nevertheless is actually used only for smaller-volume products. of which currently makes the Renaultsport Clio, in addition to recently began assembling Bluecar electric vehicles for the Bolloré company of which also owns the Source London charging network.
Caterham’s Alpine rival
Caterham’s design for its own sports car, known internally as C120, is actually believed to have been ready for some time, nevertheless as both cars were due to be launched together of which’s likely This kind of contributed to the ending of the partnership.
of which’s understood of which the British company will continue to use the tech of which has already developed with Renault for its own car. The company has admitted of which there will be some job losses at its Norfolk-based tech centre as a result.
Caterham insiders are also refuting rumours of which the firm has acquired beleagured German sports car maker Artega to make use of its mid-engined platform in addition to production facilities. Caterham’s finished car is actually likely to have around 300bhp available, while Renault’s Alpine is actually tipped to have around 250bhp in addition to a kerb weight of some 1100kg.
Both cars will have separate bodies in addition to interiors, in addition to their handling in addition to driving characteristics will be tuned differently. Caterham also intends to launch more versions of its car with varying power outputs after the first style goes on sale.
Q&A with Alpine boss Bernard Olliver
Does This kind of confirm of which a production car is actually on the way currently?
“Yes in addition to no. Yes because of which’s a sign of which we are beginning to get the concept, nevertheless of which’s not finished. Our objective through Alpine Celebration is actually to assess. of which is actually very difficult for us – we have to relaunch a brand. This kind of is actually very rare on the market. in addition to of which is actually very difficult to be sure what kind of expectations customers will have, in addition to at the end what kind of profitability we will have.
“For instance, you have seen the Alpine Celebration within the village [where of which is actually on display to the public]. If I change the logo in addition to I put Renaultsport, or Porsche, or Lotus. is actually there a difference of assessment by people? If they are interested. of which is actually very important for us. What kind of people? Perhaps if I put Porsche of which’s not the same customer than if of which is actually Alpine or Renault Sport. So of which’s quite a survey.
“We think… we have our idea. Our objective is actually to validate our idea or to change. My opinion is actually of which the potential customers are very modern so they are waiting for a modern car, nevertheless of course if you buy an Alpine, you are waiting for a real Alpine.
“A real Alpine means the DNA of Alpine, which is actually light, fast in addition to fun to drive. So our proposition with Alpine Celebration is actually of which we think a brand-new Alpine should be – firstly, a modern car, that has a modern design in addition to modern technology. Secondly – a car which also shows the heritage.”
of which’s a very difficult balance then?
“The design of the auto is actually very, very important. Probably 80% of the decision to buy a car is actually down to the design. So of which’s very, very crucial.
“nevertheless after of which, there are various other points, the positioning of the auto, performance, comfort in addition to of course all the economic topics with the profitability.”
is actually there a timeframe to launch the auto?
“We might prefer to be sure than to be quick. nevertheless also This kind of is actually not only about France. France is actually quite a smaller market. Of course, I think about Germany, the UK, Japan etc. in addition to This kind of car will go to Goodwood within the UK.
“I am very interested because I know British people love cars. The design is actually quite close, of which is actually not an Italian design. of which will be very interesting for us to measure the feedback coming from Goodwood.”
So you are still deciding on your markets, as well as the technology of the auto?
“No. For me there are some topics of which are not to be negotiated, because of which is actually within the DNA. in addition to the DNA of Alpine is actually not negotiable. The ratio of lightweight vs power is actually not negotiable, of which’s the DNA.”
Has developing the road car been a challenge?
“My challenge is actually the market has not waited for us. All the places are taken by carmakers in addition to so we have to take our place. For of which we need to be very strong on our uniqueness. If we copy Lotus, or Porsche, why will we succeed?
“of which’s possible we will succeed because our car will be different. An Alpine has to be different to a Lotus.”
What can you tell us about the final product?
“If you see our car, you can see This kind of car will be useable daily. the auto will be elegant, with the French idea of elegance. Simple, fluid, in addition to very uncomplicated. of which will be special. So we think these topics are not within the market today. So we have our place.
“There must already be quite a bit of confidence of which there is actually a market for Alpine. What gives you of which?
“I am confident we will be able to find the not bad solution. nevertheless today we have not finished solving the remaining issues. For instance, the profitability hot topic. If the profitability is actually low of which means we are not sure on the long-term future. of which is actually very important for me in addition to for the Renault Group to build something for the long-term.”
What customers are you aiming for with Alpine?
“The customers for Alpine cars won’t be the same as for Renault. For instance, even the customer for Renault Sport is actually probably young, not very rich, in addition to he is actually buying a car which is actually useable for all the things he has to do.
“For Alpine, of which’s not of which. of which is actually very passionate people, quite rich, probably of which’s the third or fourth car for them. of which’s a car only for pleasure for the weekend, not to drive a lot, only for pleasure. is actually This kind of customer going to go to a Renault dealer to buy an Alpine? I’m not sure, because you want to get a very, very dedicated service.”
is actually This kind of concept close to the final product?
“We will modify This kind of concept using feedback coming from today, tomorrow in addition to Goodwood. We will modify, we will look for a not bad balance. I’m not sure This kind of is actually for next year – the timing is actually dependant on our ability to make the right car.”
Additional reporting by Darren Moss in addition to Simon Strang
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