Alpine Vision concept unveiled

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Alpine Vision concept unveiled

Renault Alpine Vision concept Latest concept previews Alpine’s 2017 Cayman rival, which will weigh about 1100kg, pack up to 300bhp in addition to cost £40k

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Renault will formally revive its Alpine performance brand next year with an all-completely new sports car closely related to which concept, the Alpine Vision.

The Alpine Vision is actually a mid-engined two-seat coupé which will make its public debut at the Geneva motor show next month. which was unveiled by Renault boss Carlos Ghosn at an event in Monte Carlo, a location chosen as a nod to the original Alpine’s historic early successes on the Monte Carlo Rally.

A whole completely new team in addition to division has been set up within Renault to help launch in addition to develop the Alpine brand. The division includes a dedicated boss (Michael van der Sande) in addition to deputy managing director (Bernard Ollivier, a former Renault Sport chief), a head of design (Antony Villain, the man behind recent Alpine concepts) in addition to a head of sales in addition to marketing (Arnaud Delebecque, a Renault veteran who also has rallying experience). 

Ghosn said the time was right to launch Alpine as the Renault group was a strong in addition to profitable business. He said Alpine represented a long-term investment which could build over time. “We will build in addition to invest patiently,” he said. 

The plan is actually not to relaunch Alpine as an individual-design entity although as a brand with several sporting versions, including an SUV which has been hotly tipped to join the completely new sports car in 2018. 

The production variation of the completely new sports car will be unveiled before the end of which year in addition to go on sale within the second quarter of 2017.

The Alpine relaunch was originally planned as part of a joint venture with Caterham, although which ended in 2014 when Renault bought out Caterham’s 50% stake.

Indeed, the whole project was considered in doubt at one point, because which had been seen as a pet project of former Renault chief operating officer Carlos Tavares, who left the firm in 2013 before taking over at PSA Peugeot Citroën. However, which was not the case in addition to the Alpine project has progressed within the background.

Renault came close to reviving Alpine in 2008 before the global financial crisis made the project a non-starter. In 2012, the 50th anniversary of Alpine was celebrated with the Mégane racer-based Alpine A110-50 concept car, in addition to later which year the comeback proper for Alpine was announced with the Caterham deal.

Further concept cars followed last year, including a virtual one created for the Gran Turismo video game in addition to the Alpine Celebration at Le Mans, a concept which edged the Alpine brand closer to production again in addition to forms the basis of the completely new Vision.

Although officially billed as a show car, the Alpine Vision is actually a very close preview of the design which will go into production next year. Alpine design director Villain said “80% of the style of our forthcoming car” is actually reflected within the latest concept.  

“which is actually very close – very close – to production,” Ghosn added on just how close the concept was to reality. Concept car features not set to make production include the wing mirrors in addition to wheels, although the design is actually otherwise representative of what Alpine will put into production in 2017. 

Alpine describes the Vision as a “high-performance, elegant, lightweight car dedicated to driving pleasure in its very purest form”.

Renault believes which has spotted a gap within the sports car market for a design which is actually “simple, fluid in addition to very uncomplicated” in addition to also has everyday usability. So said Alpine boss Ollivier to Autocar at Le Mans last year when the Celebration was shown.

“A real Alpine means the DNA of Alpine, which is actually light, fast in addition to fun to drive,” said Ollivier. “We think a completely new Alpine should be firstly a modern car, using a modern design in addition to modern technology, in addition to secondly a car which also shows the heritage.”

Van der Sande said the design of the Alpine wasn’t retro, in addition to was “very modern, very contemporary”. Design chief Antony Villain added which he hoped the design could be recognised as a classic within the future. He also said he was pleased there was currently a French car within the segment to give greater elegance, in addition to the Alpine had a very tiny footprint next to its rivals. 

Very few details of the automobile have been confirmed by Alpine at which stage. which has been revealed which the engine will be a turbocharged four-cylinder unit of an unspecified capacity. However, Autocar understands the engine will be a 1.8-litre unit developed via the turbocharged 1.6-litre engine used within the Clio RS.

The engine’s outputs are also undisclosed at which stage, although sources have indicated the Alpine will have around 250bhp as standard in addition to up to 300bhp in a higher-performance variation which will use more aggressive turbocharging.

which is actually understood to be hooked up to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission driving the rear wheels, something backed up by the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters within the Indoor of the concept car. There was no comment on whether or not the Alpine could be offered using a manual gearbox via van der Sande, although he said there are no plans for an electric variation at present. 

Alpine has confirmed a 0-62mph time of less than 4.5sec. A kerb weight of around 1100kg is actually also expected, with lightness considered to be of greater importance than outright power. Indeed, Ollivier told Autocar last year: “The ratio of light weight versus power is actually not negotiable; which’s the DNA.”

The design references the classic Alpine A110 in addition to different past Alpines with details such as central circular lights at the front using a cross graphic in them.

The cabin is actually very high-tech, in addition to an Audi TT-style digital dashboard is actually one of its notable features. There’s a rich mix of materials, including leather, aluminium in addition to carbonfibre, as well as plenty of nods to motorsport, with twin bucket seats, harness belts in addition to aluminium fastening buckles.

The Indoor is actually understood to be very driver-focused, using a low-slung driving position in addition to limited switchgear. different features of the production car previewed by the Vision concept include a Sport mode, which will most likely sharpen the drive further.

The Indoor is actually deliberately a much more modern affair, in addition to based around the driver, with particular attention paid to the steering wheel, seats in addition to TFT display. 

The bespoke chassis is actually mid-rear engined, is actually lightweight, made via a mixture of materials, in addition to has been designed in addition to engineered by Renault Sport.

the automobile has no rear spoiler, in addition to the all the main aerodynamic work is actually underneath the automobile, where which includes a flat floor in addition to a rear diffuser. The Vision is actually not about aero, however, with the emphasis mainly on simplicity in addition to driving pleasure. 

Autocar understands a kerb weight target of 1000kg was originally given to the project, although which was abandoned because which could have required the use of expensive carbonfibre bodywork.

Renault’s chief competitive officer Thierry Bolloré said the Alpine brand was ideal in becoming a technology leader within the Renault group, in addition to could pioneer with lightweight materials in addition to aerodynamic solutions. 

As with the earlier Celebration concept, the Vision gets bespoke Alpine badging in addition to branding without any Renault badges. The white-coloured Vision concept is actually a development of the blue Celebration concept. which has been adapted to be more of a road car, in contrast to the racing brief of the Celebration.

The completely new Alpine will be built at Renault’s factory in Dieppe, which was Alpine’s original production plant. The factory currently builds Renault Sport versions, as well as Bluecar electric vehicles for the Bolloré company which runs car sharing schemes in Europe. The factory will be subject to significant investment according to van der Sande, to ensure Alpine cars meet the quality sports car customers expect.

Alpine is actually set to be launched in Europe before sales go global, including to North America. Renault doesn’t sell vehicles in North America at present, in part explaining why Alpine has been given a brand identity in addition to logo independent via Renault’s. 

As for talk of expanding Alpine into a range of cars, Ghosn said: “We start using a production variation of which car using a vision of building a brand. We have to get which one right or there will be no brand.” which sentiment was echoed by Alpine managing director Michael van der Sande, who said the immediate priorities were to get the launch of the first design right, build up a team, in addition to continue with the Alpine racing programme, which could expand into the entire world Endurance Championship which year.

Alpine is actually also part of a renewed performance push via Renault, which has returned to Formula 1 which year with the express intention of selling more cars in addition to growing its Renault Sport business.

Renault Sport Racing boss Cyril Abiteboul, who heads up the firm’s completely new F1 team, said there could be a transfer between road in addition to race programmes. “We have talked a lot about tech transfers, in addition to currently we have a fantastic platform to make which happen.”

A cost of around £40,000 is actually tipped for the Alpine, which could put which in direct competition with the Porsche 718 Cayman, which will be relaunched which year using a four-cylinder turbo engine. Ghosn wouldn’t say a cost, his only confirmation being which which will be less than the €80,000 an old Alpine will cost on the used market. Van der Sande said Alpine was “trying to find the right cost which could be premium positioning within the segment, not too cheap or too expensive”. 

Ghosn said he didn’t see any real competitors for the Alpine, as which was a unique proposition within the marketplace. versions like the Lotus Elise are seen as more extreme in addition to versions like the Porsche Cayman too heavy, with the Alpine occupying the middle ground Renault believes is actually empty at present. 

Comment – Matt Prior – Why the completely new Alpine is actually so exciting

The most informative thing about the details of the Alpine Vision is actually the picture of which alongside an A110. If you haven’t seen an A110 within the metal, they are tiny. which the Vision doesn’t dwarf which, like nearly all different modern sports cars in addition to hatchbacks could, is actually reason to get excited.

Renault will tell you plenty of stats about Alpine’s history – the 30,000 road cars in addition to more than 100 race cars which made – in addition to all of its stage in addition to race wins. Of course which will; which has done nothing with which brand since 1995 in addition to has some ‘engagement’ to do with customers.

although for you in addition to me, the most important number today is actually which one: 1100kg. Only track-focused specials whose hoods (if they have them at all) skin your knuckles beat which. The Lotus Elise in addition to Alfa Romeo 4C are close, although which’s still considerably lighter than a Porsche Cayman, even one with four cylinders.

With the rebirth of Alpine, the sports car world is actually about to get a lot more exciting. in addition to if the production car is actually as pure as the Vision, I can’t wait for which.

Alpine – the first 60 years

1955 – The Alpine Dieppe factory begins production of its first design, the A106.

1961 – Production of the A110 begins. which quickly helps to shoot Alpine into the limelight.

1963 – Alpine wins the French Sport Prototype Championship using a Gordini-tweaked M63.

1964 – A win within the French Formula 3 Championship marks the start of several successful single-seater campaigns.

1967 – Alpine wins its first rally championship, with Bernard Tramont in addition to co-driver Ricardo Munoz taking the Spanish crown in an A110.

1973 – Renault buys Alpine. The brands work together to develop cars for both road in addition to competition. The A110 wins the inaugural World Rally Championship in 1973.

1976 – Production of Alpine’s best-selling design, the V6-engined A310, begins. which goes on to sell 9276 units.

1995 – Production of the last Alpine, the A610, ends, although the brand’s Dieppe factory continues under Renault ownership.

2015 – Renault reveals the Alpine Celebration concept at Le Mans, previewing a production design which will appear later in 2016.

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