Renault CEO Luca de Meo has suggested Alpine could be cultivated to become a "mini Ferrari".
According to UK publication Auto Express, Italian-born de Meo said the Renault-owned Alpine brand could combine expertise from its Formula One team with "quasi-artisanal" work conducted at the Alpine factory to produce vehicles akin to those made by Ferrari.
While there were some reports Alpine's future was in doubt earlier this year, the new Renault boss – who is just three months into the top job – has fully committed to the sports car brand, rebranding the Renault F1 team under the Alpine flag for 2021.
De Meo also appointed Renault F1 team boss Cyril Abiteboul to head the Alpine cars business.
The emerging Alpine brand is said to combine the F1 team, the Renault Sport engineering unit and the iconic history of the Alpine brand.
"What I saw was the possibility to combine those things together to create what I call a mini-Ferrari – putting the F1 team at the centre of a business ecosystem and create a brand with a presence in motorsport, engineering, production, and distribution," Mr de Meo said.
"We have to stop with the nostalgia on Alpine and use Alpine as an opportunity to project ourselves into the future, when it comes to distribution, technology, electric cars, et cetera."
Above: Renault CEO Luca de Meo
Alpine currently offers a single product, the A110 sports coupe, but according to a memo sent to staff last month, de Meo wants to position the vehicle in the same way the Porsche 911 is organised: with multiple variants spawned off the back of the A110 platform.
Earlier this month, patent images emerged of the company's off-road 'safari' A110 SportsX concept car, suggesting a production version may be around the corner.
"Maybe we can turn the car one day to an electric version if we manage to solve the business case, if we maybe find a partner," Mr de Meo said.
There may also be some Alpine-badged models cherry-picked from the Renault stable coming too: "... I will find a point of contact between the Alpine brand and some Renault models," he added.
"We need to be credible on that, so I'm not going to do that with Kangoo or Espace [people mover] – I'm going to do that with things that fit the position of the brand."
What do you think? Is there space for both Renault Sport and Alpine to coexist? Let us know in the comments below.