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It looks like a roughly modified Lotus Elise but this black prototype is actually a test mule for the new sports car architecture being jointly developed by Renault and Caterham.

The French manufacturer and the British track car specialist announced a partnership in November aimed at creating a pair of affordable sports cars due to launch in 2016.

Set to be significantly wider than the Lotus, Renault’s version will become the first new vehicle sold under the reborn Alpine brand, while the Caterham will form part of an expanded road-car line-up that is set to include a city car and an SUV.

Renault-Alpine-4

US publication Motor Authority reports Caterham will take a leading role in the cars’ chassis development and testing while Renault will focus on their powertrain and other mechanical components.

True to the brand’s philosophy, Caterham’s version is expected to be more minimalist and performance-focused in its design and layout, while the Renault will have a comparatively greater emphasis on comfort and convenience.

Renault-Alpine-8

A forced-induction four-cylinder petrol engine with a rumoured 200kW of power will be positioned in the middle and drive the rear wheels, propelling the sports cars from 0-100km/h in an estimated 5.0 seconds.

The twin two-seaters will be produced side by side at Renault’s Dieppe plant in France.

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  • Phil

    Lotus must be like Lego for car makers – take one, pull a few bits off, stick a few new ones on, and say “look what I just built”… and bolt on guard flares, haven’t seen them since the Proton Satria GTi!