Many fans have been wondering whether Renault is going to create another sport car. It has been two decades since Renault produced its Spider sports car – which was discontinued in 1999 – and the carmaker has yet to find a suitable replacement for this small sports car.
It cannot be denied that Renault – through its Renault Sports unit – provided the auto market with fast and stunning hatchbacks. On the other hand, Renault’s Alpine has been left in charge of developing a new sport car. In fact, Alpine’s sports car – in production form – was spotted recently. But it seems that people are still hoping that Renault itself would go back to producing sports car.
That should not be surprising considering that Renault has been involved in high-level motorsports. This is the irony of Renault’s position – it manufactures engines for high-level racing cars, and yet it does not have its own sports vehicle. If there is one true sports car that Renault managed to create a breakthrough, it was the Sport Spider.
Back in the 1990s, Renault was Formula One's leading engine supplier and was instrumental for four Driver's and six Constructor's championships in this era. Yet, at that time, its road car offerings include no performance models. While Renault had the Clio Williams and the Alpine A610, it had no sports car of its own. That is, until the Spider came into concept and work commenced.
First unveiled as a concept at the 1995 Geneva Motor Show, the Renault Spider quickly etched a name for itself. Its launch proved stunning, as people saw it as a race car-like vehicle with no windscreen and a bare interior. That was expected, as the Renault Spider was not only intended as a road-going sports car, but also as a racing unit in a one-make series organized by the French carmaker.
In addition, other specs of the Sport Spider showed that it was really derived from motorsport. First off, the Sport Spider was underpinned by a welded aluminum box chassis with composite plastic body panels. It was powered by Clio Williams' two-liter engine producing 148 bhp.
This engine was mated to five-speed transmission. Soon, windscreen versions were produced. Although fewer than 2,000 units of the Sport Spider were built, this sports car introduced the Renault Sport badge to world. Regrettably, after its scrapping in 1999, the Sport Spider was Renault’s last true sports car.
With Alpine now in the midst of developing and creating its new sports car, many are wondering whether parent Renault would follow suit. Something of this level is not hard for Renault, especially with its own expertise and know-how both in road going cars and motorsports. In fact, there have been quite a few designs – like the one by created by Behance designer Monholo Oumar – that would likely be the basis for Renault’s newest venture.