Renault and Caterham have set a target to get the Alpine sports car finished and launched within three years or until the end of 2015. The two companies started this joint venture last year. The initial speculation was that it will take four years but Renault marketing boss Stephen Norman has denied this. He had also implied that this car is “not soft” but it won’t be more hardcore than a Mazda MX-5.
It also won’t be similar to a Peugeot 106 Rallye. He added that Alpine’s DNA will be evident in the car. Norman clarified further that this car has French DNA and won’t be German. The target buyer is “either French or a Francophile” while the car uses technical innovation as part of its DNA.
A clean-sheet design will be used. It’s also going up against the Porsche Boxster and high-performance versions of the Audi TT. It will cost lower than £50,000 and will be powered by a Renault engine with an output of about 250bhp.
In 2007, Renault seriously considered reviving Alpine but due to the recession, it had to set aside the project. When the market had recovered, the original design was already deemed outdated.