TWENTY YEARS after the last Alpine A610, a striking-looking rival to cars such as the Porsche 911, rolled off the production line, the French car maker has revealed a concept for a new sports car set to go on sale in 2017.
According to the car maker, which is a subsidiary of Renault, the Alpine Vision is inspired by the Alpine A110 Berlinette of the 1960s and was revealed in the mountains around Monte Carlo where the company earned a reputation for rallying.
The mid-engined, two-seater blends styling cues from the A110 including quad front lights intended to recall that model’s array of lights, curvy styling incorporating a sloping roofline and sculpted sides. It sits on a lightweight chassis that Alpine claims is tuned for agility and perfectly suited to the twisting roads of the Southern French Alps.
Alpine claims that the concept’s four-cylinder, turbocharged engine – it hasn’t revealed its capacity but it is believed to be a 1.8-litre producing over 220bhp, and shared with the Clio RenaultSport – will launch the car from 0-62mph in less than 4.5 seconds.
The interior of the Alpine Vision looks impressively complete and finished for a concept car. It features bucket seats, lashings of quilted leather and aluminium detaling but it’s the quality of the cabin architecture and the dashboard that suggest this concept could provide more than a glimpse of the real car.
The centre console rests on a prominent, leather-trimmed aluminium structure that appears unsupported and features the control wheel for the car’s multimedia touchscreen system, and the engine start button.
Meanwhile, the fascia incorporates a customisable TFT instrument display, presumably similar to the system in the Audi TT, below a carbon cowling.
For all that the Alpine Vision is billed as a concept car, the car maker says the eventual production model will be very close to it in terms of design, weight, handling, agility and attention to detail.
Alpine has set itself just 12 months to achieve these goals during which time, it says, it will create a dealer network and, to help re-establish the brand’s sporting credentials, build on its recent race achievements which, last year, saw the Signatech-Alpine racing team score two Endurance Championship victories. This year it will enter two Alpine LMP2 cars in the World Endurance Championship, including Le Mans.
The Alpine Vision concept will be revealed to the public at next month’s Geneva show before the production car is unmasked late this year. It will go on sale in 2017.
Alpine has yet to reveal a price for the car but admits it will be a niche model produced in limited volumes, meaning it could start at around £40,000. The company says it is considering extending the range with more powerful versions that will follow later.