Founder Jean Redele launched the first Alpine model, the A106, in 1955 and production continued with star cars such as the A110 and GTA until the last Alpine A610 left the factory in 1994, leaving a gap of eighteen years between models if the current rumours are validated in 2012.
UK website Headline Auto says Renault’s marketing boss, Stephen Norman, indicated that if it went ahead with the Alpine project, “It would be a lightweight, high-performance sports car and made to the highest specification. We can’t come out with something that has wind-up windows and rubber mats.”
Other more exciting rumours suggest the new Alpine sports car would use a similar platform to the Nissan GT-R, but developed by RenaultSport.
The problem for Renault is that it has never been able to leverage its success of back-to-back Formula One world championships as an engine supplier with a proper high performance sports car capable of competing with the likes of Porsche or Audi.
In the meantime, Renault plans to replace the Clio with the Clio IV in September this year, while the Nissan Juke compact crossover will get a sister car in 2013.
The Renault Megane five-door hatch and three-door coupe will be replaced in 2014, while the next Koleos will have full off-road capability and be available in late 2014.
Renault also has an affiliation with Korean giant Samsung, which has so far not performed in the well enough for Renault.
Norman said, “Samsung will be part of the upper range models we are planning and the new large cars influence what we do in Korea.
“We were caught short in the market there by Hyundai and Kia, we weren’t expecting them to be as good as they are. You can no longer make a car for one region and what we do in Europe will be influenced by what is happening elsewhere.”