It’s been tough slogging in the European auto business lately, but Renault finally has managed to get its head above water enough to give enthusiasts an important glimpse of the future. It just unveiled the Alpine Vision show car, which is a preview of a production version that will go on sale next year.
Renault has been teasing this particular would-be competitor to the Porsche Cayman since 2012 with its planned relaunch of that marque that debuted in 1969 with the legendary Alpine A110. Besides dealing in general with the sluggish European auto market, another drag on the project was the fact that Renault Sport’s partner, the Caterham specialty-auto firm in the UK, pulled out.
Estimated to be about 80 percent production ready, the Alpine Vision concept shown in Monte Carlo this week relies on a new, four-cylinder turbocharged engine to whoosh it from zero to 62 MPH in less than 4.5 seconds. It will be “managed by a small team of passionate experts” within Renault, the company said, “with one sole mission—to meet and exceed the expectations of the demanding sport premium customer.”
Or as Michael van der Sande, Alpine managing director, put it in a press release, “All of us at Alpine are proud to have been entrusted with the task of bringing back Alpine to sports car lovers around the world. Our job is to faithfully reinterpret famous Alpines of the past and project Alpine into the future with a beautifully designed, agile, high-performance sports car.”
European buyers will be able to get behind the wheel of the new Alpine later this year, but North American customers will have to wait longer.