Revival of the iconic Alpine brand is a step closer after the release of this near-production concept at Le Mans.
Three years on from the unveiling of the Renault Alpine A110-50 concept at the Monaco Grand Prix, which celebrated 50 years since the release of the legendary Alpine Berlinette, comes a closer-to-reality Alpine Celebration concept – and it too has something to celebrate, in this case six decades since the brand’s Circuit de la Sarthe streak from 1963 to 1969.
The Alpine Celebration has softer, more elegant surfacing than the 2012 concept, giving the best indication yet of what next year’s road-going version will look like. Pointers such as carbon detailing on the side sills, air intake and mirrors are used “to highlight the high-tech features of the car’s body”, indicating kerb weight will be a key consideration.
Rear three quarter cooling ducts and rear window louvres reveal the mid-rear engine design, and although drivetrain details aren’t yet disclosed, a 1.6-litre turbo and six-speed dual-clutch automatic from the Clio RS is widely expected.
Other styling elements look back on the past, such as wheel design that is a throwback to the A110 and A310 of the 1970s, while round, masked headlights give a nod to the adhesive strips used over headlights on race cars to keep them from breaking.
“The Alpine Celebration faithfully replicates the timeless style of Alpines of old whilst adding a modern twist,” announced Alpine CEO, Bernard Ollivier.
“Its low profile, sloping, creased bonnet, sculpted sides, distinctive rear window and other design details are all clear echoes of models like the A110 that have featured so prominently in Alpine’s glorious history.
“With no need for gimmicks to stand out from the crowd, the beauty of the Alpine Celebration resides in its simplicity.”
Ollivier spoke with Australian media at the Paris motor show last October, revealing that an official production model will lob in 2016, a manual will be unlikely and a sub-1000kg kerb weight is the target.
According to the Alpine boss, the production car will sit “somewhere between a Porsche Cayman and an Alfa 4C … Alpine will be premium, with a French touch.”
The mid-engined, rear-drive production car will be built in right-hand drive, and Renault Australia is keen to get the car here for between $60K and $90K sometime after next year’s release.