Alpine-Caterham 'advisory board' created

Renault has announced the formation of what it calls an ‘advisory board’ to oversee the introduction of its new Alpine brand. The board will advise senior management both at Renault and at the newly-formed Alpine-Caterham alliance on the evolution of the brand, and oversee development of the new Alpine right through to its launch.

Mouton will be a part of the team
Mouton will be a part of the team
The good news is that there are some notable luminaries on the board which suggest that Renault is serious about nurturing Alpine’s brand image and ensuring it stays true to the principles and rallying heritage of the original company. For example, Jean-Charles Redele, son of Alpine’s founder Jean Redele; Jacques Cheinisse, Alpine’s former sporting director; Jean-Pierre Limondin, a former Alpine engineer;  former rally driver and Alpine test driver Alain Serpaggi; Bernard Darniche, another former rally driver who drove for Alpine in 1973, the year the company won the inaugural Constructors’ World Rally Champinoship; Olivier Lamirault, a Renault dealer who’s heavily involved in Alpine marketing and regularly drives Alpines in historic races, and Tom Mautner, one of the UK’s foremost Alpine and Renault collectors. There was one other name which caught our eye, of course: Michele Mouton, who drove for Alpine between 1974 and 1977, is also on the board.

Board will oversee development of the A110-50
Board will oversee development of the A110-50
It’s a remarkable line-up and it suggests that Renault is serious not only about resurrecting the brand, but about doing it properly. And while some of these names might not be familiar to many of you, bear in mind that they’re probably better placed to advise on the brand than some of the celeb ‘brand advisors’ we’ve seen draughted in in recent years. They should bring plenty of relevant experience to the Alpine party – and hopefully, as a result, the finished machine should stay true to Alpine’s heritage.

Of course, any mention of Alpine gives us plenty of reason to go for a delve in to the PH Classifieds to see what we can find. Unfortunately, there aren’t any classic A110s around at the moment, but there’s one lonely example of a GTA going – and what a corker it is. Feast your eyes on its flawless white paintwork; take in the slider-laden 80s-tastic dash, and revel in the thought of blatting around with a 2.5-litre turbocharged V6 hanging way out the back. If the new Alpine is anywhere near as delightful as the GTA was, we simply can’t wait.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (41) Join the discussion on the forum

  • blueg33 03 Feb 2013

    The car is already designed and prototype built. Surely Renault are better placed than Caterham to turn it into a production vehicle?

    I suspect they are looking more at the cost savings of platform sharing outside the group plus sharing infrastructure and plant costs.

  • Yeloperil 02 Feb 2013

    For those of you who cannot understand why Renault needed this jv to be formed, its simple. Without a third party design facility like Caterham Technology, Renault is simply too big and cumbersome to bring a niche product to market within a tight time frame and to an affordable cost. What Renault are very capable of is building cars and the guys at Dieppe are well experienced in niche production.

  • blueg33 23 Jan 2013

    I thought the Alpine version was to be built in Dieppe where Alps have always been built.

    Its a great looking car and looks good in the vids I have seen, and I will save for one (may have to sell all my other cars)

    I have a GTA Turbo from 1988 it is a marvel of velour and plastic and has a very 1980's graphic equaliser smile

    It actually handles well (in the dry) and will still give a modern hot hatch a run for its money. It feels faster than my Tuscan to about 80mph (even though it isn't), it is probably quicker from A-B on windy and sweeping roads within the speed limit.

    I haven’t had it for long but I am pleasantly surprised.

    Wheels need sorting (new ones are in my garage)

  • davepoth 23 Jan 2013

    rsRob said:
    Re: what do Renault get, have a read of this:

    "For larger manufacturers, niche and low-volume products are often difficult to integrate to production facilities and processes that are more appropriate for mid to high volume production"
    So "We build it in a shed so you don't have to"?

  • rsRob 23 Jan 2013

    Meteor Madness said:
    A lot of pop rivets there.
    I think this statement is more telling than the picture...

    "In the future, it is also our intention to be able to offer contract manufacturing facilities and capacity to other companies seeking a cost effective, flexible and quality conscious alternative to the current options".

    That and *hopefully*

    "Composite body design and assembly"

    I'm guessing a composite manufacturing capability is not something Renault could develop and master quickly or cheaply, sub-contracting it also gives them limited exposure to the risk of setting up the capability/facilities/staff/supplychain blah blah

    So, major CF chassis/bodywork components manufactured at Caterham, vehicle final assembly in Dieppe?

    Lightweight maybe, cheap no - I guess Alpine is a 'halo' brand for Renault...

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