ALPINE NEEDS ITS 911
Get the first car right and the French sports car brand will grow into an empire, Renault says
We still don't know the spec for the car, which is slated to launch in 2016, but Renault boss Carlos Tavares did reveal that the basics have been agreed. "The layout of platform, engine and gearbox are all decided," he told us, without telling us. The first car won't chase the 911, but instead is expected to aim for the Cayman and Alfa 4C with a mid-engined coupe powered by a version of Renault's 1.6-litre turbo and mated to a faster dual-clutch gearbox. The cost will be nearer £50,000 than £30,000 as first thought. As we previously discovered in an interview with key players, including Alpine's boss, the goal is to be light and fun.
already been revealed in concept form last May, but we're told the finished item will likely go deeper in its visual references to the pretty A110 of the 60s and 70s, recently chased by PH in the Monte Carlo Historique.
That's what the 'Khmer Bleu' (hardcore French Alpinists) are pushing for, according to van den Acker, and what they'll probably get. "It will be closer to the spirit of the A110," said concept car director Axel Breun.
The desire to emulate Porsche is understandable given its 'most profitable' status but, come on guys, isn't Porsche pretty much untouchable in this market? "No one is untouchable, but it takes a lot of time," Breun told us. "It took them a long time to develop the 911 into something great."