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Renault Alpine Vision concept previews new sports car

Renault's Alpine brand will launch a new sports car in 2017 as a rival to the Porsche Cayman

Words ByMark Tisshaw

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Renault has confirmed that it will launch a new sports car under its Alpine performance brand in 2017.

Alpine has been dormant for more than two decades but has an illustrious history of making sports cars and also motorsport success.

After a series of recent Alpine concept cars, Renault has now confirmed a full return for Alpine in 2017. It has revealed another concept car, the Alpine Vision, ahead of the Geneva motor show, and Renault claims 80% of the new concept will make production.

The production Alpine sports car will be revealed later this year ahead of its 2017 launch, Renault has confirmed. Vey few details of the mid-engined, rear-wheel drive Alpine sports have been confirmed at this stage.

The engine is set to be a turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder unit with around 250bhp in base form. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is also likely to be standard.

The Alpine sports car is set to be very light, weighing around 1100kg. This is one of the key selling points of Alpine, that its models are lightweight and simple, with an emphasis on driving purity and pleasure.

There are lots of references to old Alpine models in the design of the new car. The interior is more hi-tech, with a digital dashboard akin to the Audi TT.

There are no Renault badges on the concept, the model is badged purely as an Alpine. It is likely to be sold in dedicated Alpine areas of Renault dealerships, although this has not been confirmed, Renault has aspirations to turn Alpine into a brand again rather than a single model.

To that end, an SUV is planned to follow the sports car in 2018. The Alpine relaunch was planned to be a joint venture with Caterham, but this ended in 2014 when Renault bought out Caterham’s 50% stake.

A price of around Β£40-50,000 has been mooted for the returning Alpine, which would put it up against the Porsche Cayman.