Alpine concept on the cards reveals happy Renault chief
Renault’s chief operating officer, Carlos Tavares, says: “I’m determined to relaunch the Alpine brand. The first car will be a 21st Century interpretation of the A110 Berlinette, and it will cost around 50,000 euros.
“That’s the direction we’re heading in, and after that we can do anything we like.”
For the sports coupe to make financial sense, however, Renault need to spread costs by teaming up with another car-maker.
Tavares said as much by adding: “A deal exists and it’s progressing. We’ll make a decision on the car by the end of 2012 and it will take three to five years from then.”
The Renault chief will not say who the partner is, but all the signs point to Mercedes.
Renault and alliance partner Nissan have an ongoing tie-up with Mercedes, and they’re already working together on the next Twingo.
The only question mark is where the mid-engined platform will come from. This suggests the imminent SLC AMG coupe, which would slot below the SLS AMG in the range, could use a mid-engined lay-out.
Rumours have been circulating that Lotus could be also in the frame. They are already providing Infiniti with the Evora chassis and hybrid technology for the Emerg-E.
But it’s doubtful whether Lotus could offer the economies of scale Renault need to make the Alpine project work.
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