Alpine plans hasten slowly......
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  1. #1
    Simon's Avatar
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    Default Alpine plans hasten slowly......

    Sounds like there is a bit more thought being put into the relaunch of Alpine, than went into the design of the Alaskan ute! Not a bad thing in my reckoning.

    Press release blurb ripped from GoAuto below......

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    Renault - Renault’s Alpine plans hasten slowly | GoAuto

    Alpine’s past celebrated as Renault plots the future of the born-again brand
    10 September 2015

    By RON HAMMERTON

    RENAULT’S plans to resurrect the 60-year-old Alpine brand will be top of mind this weekend when no fewer than 758 historic Alpine cars and their owners gather at Alpine’s spiritual home in the French port town of Dieppe.

    The biggest-ever gathering of Alpine aficionados, race drivers and former and current staff members will serve to keep the dream alive as Renault-backed Alpine engineers and designers continue to hone the born-again Alpine production range, the first prototypes of which are already plying the highways and byways of France in disguise.

    The launch date for the first new-breed Alpine car, a mid-engined sports coupe, has reportedly slipped out to 2017 in Europe and perhaps later for Australia where Renault Australia is keen to add the flagship Alpine brand to its range.

    But Renault insists the Alpine revival is still advancing, with the focus on getting the product right ahead of launch.

    Rather than a rival for Porsche’s Boxster, the first new Alpine sportscar appears to be more of an Alfa Romeo 4C challenger, with a small but feisty turbocharged four-cylinder engine mooted to fill the slot between the seats and the rear axle in a feather-weight body.

    It has been 20 years since Alpine-badged Renault-based cars emerged from Alpine’ s factory at Dieppe. In the interim, the plant has been responsible for building the acclaimed Renault Sport variants of Renault cars such as the Clio and Megane.

    That same plant is now undergoing an overhaul in preparation for the re-birth of Alpine – full name Societe des Automobiles Alpine – which these days is 100 per cent owned by the Renault Nissan Alliance.

    New facilities at the factory will include the latest aluminium panel presses to produce the light-weight construction panels and structural elements for the new generation of Alpine thoroughbreds that, if European reports can be believed, will also include a crossover vehicle, perhaps with links to a future product being developed with Renault’s Japanese partner Nissan.

    The project to revive Alpine started in 2012 with the unveiling of the Alpine A110-50 concept car to mark the 50th anniversary of one of the most famous Alpine models, the A108 Berlinette.

    Later that year, Mr Ghosn announced the formal rebirth of Alpine with a design project for what he dubbed “a 21st century Berlinette”.

    While that design and engineering project has continued behind closed doors, Alpine has revealed a glimpse into its future with two more design exercises – the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo and the Alpine Celebration.

    The Vision Gran Turismo was the result of a design competition between 15 in-house designers at Renault, and while the winning design initially came in digital form for the PlayStation game of the same name, a prototype was subsequently fashioned out of metal and plastic.

    The Celebration is a show car that was designed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of Alpine by Jean Redele, a successful French rally driver in the 1950s and 1960s, and the son of a Dieppe Renault dealer.

    The car was revealed at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hour race. More recently, it has been given a fresh makeover for this weekend’s event.

    Back in the 1950s, Redele’s rally car modifications formed the basis of his hot-shop business that was formalised in 1955, with Renault’s blessing.

    Redele got the name Alpine while on a successful rally foray in the French Alps.

    In keeping with its motor sport roots, Alpine revived its racing program in 2013, this time in LMP2 sportscars. The Signatech-Alpine team won the European Endurance Championship in its first season with the V6-powered A450, going on to snare back-to-back crowns on 2014.
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  2. #2
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    tres interessant; merci.

    cordialement, peter
    Last edited by 4cvg; 12th September 2015 at 12:58 AM.

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    Merci, Simon
    JohnW

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    More articles on the Alpine re-launch. This GoAuto journo seems to be providing a fair bit of coverage, three articles over three days......

    Here they are ripped from Go Auto.

    Article 1 - 13/9/2015

    Link - Renault 2017 Alpine - Renault’s Alpine working on ‘perfect’ sportscar | GoAuto


    2017 at the earliest for Alpine’s first new-gen sportscar from Renault subsidiary

    13 September 2015

    By RON HAMMERTON in PARIS

    THE Renault executive tasked with resurrecting the Alpine sportscar operation has promised the perfect sportscar when Alpine production resumes after a 20-year hiatus, but he says he cannot promise when he might be able to deliver it.

    “There is a big expectation on the car, and we are obliged to make it a success,” Alpine CEO Bernard Olliver told Australian journalists at the French coastal town of Dieppe where Alpine is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the famous French marque with the biggest-ever rally of Alpine enthusiasts and their vehicles.

    “We cannot make a mistake. If we have to take two or three more years for the perfect car, we will take it.”

    Although Renault started working on Alpine concept cars in 2012 and prototypes are already on the roads of France, Mr Olliver said the production car would not be ready for market before 2017.

    He declined to go into the mechanical details of the car, other than to say it would adhere to Alpine’s “DNA”of light weight, driving pleasure and French elegance of design.

    Most pundits expect the latest concept, the Alpine Celebration that was first shown at the Le Mans 24 Hour race in June this year, to set the stage for the final production vehicle.

    The mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe – known as a berlinette (small coupe) to the French – is powered by a small but powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine in a package that is said to weigh no more than 1000kg.

    The styling includes signature Alpine cues such as the round driving lights in the nose taken from the well-loved A110 Berlinette of the 1960s and 1970s; something that is almost certain to make it into the final product.

    Asked if the first new-generation Alpine car would include both coupe and convertible versions, he answered with a smile: “Perhaps.”

    Similarly, he did not rule out the rumoured crossover vehicle as a follow-up for the as-yet unnamed sportscar, but said the focus of Alpine’s engineers and designers was firmly on the first vehicle.

    “I have make my first car, because there will be no other car if the first car is not a success,” he said. “An SUV interests us, but not yet.”

    On the prospects for a right-hand drive variant for markets such as Australia, Mr Olliver stopped short of confirming one, but went out of his way to emphasise the importance of the Australian market and the need to take the Alpine product to as many customers as possible.

    The fact that motoring journalists from Australia and Japan – both right-hand drive markets – have been included among the invitees to the 60th anniversary event would seem to indicate that the decision has already been made.

    One thing has been confirmed: the Alpine factory at Dieppe is already undergoing an overhaul to prepare it for new-generation products.

    The factory currently turns out Renault Sport hot hatches, and has done since 1995 when Alpine’s own line of vehicles went out of production.

    While European motoring writers have variously compared the new Alpine model to the Alfa Romeo 4C and Porsche Cayman, Mr Olliver declined to be drawn on the perceived competitors for the Alpine car, saying: “The only point is that the car has the DNA of Alpine.”

    The quiet port town of Dieppe – where Alpine was founded 60 years ago by rally driver and son of a Renault dealer Jean Redele – has been transformed for the celebration event that serves not only to reminisce about Alpine cars of old, but to also promote the promise of a new era.

    More than 700 Alpine cars dating back to the original 1950s A106 – built on the chassis of a Renault 4CV but with a fibreglass body – are on display by both Alpine owners and Renault’s own car museum.

    The Renault Celebration concept is the star attraction at one end of a big marquee on the Dieppe foreshore, while the Signatech-Alpine LM3 Le Mans racing car is the main event at the other.

    In between, Alpine cars of each generation are on show. Outside, hundreds of privately owned Alpine cars from all over Europe are lined up for car fans to fawn over.



    Article 2 - 14/9/2015

    Link - Renault 2017 Alpine - Alpine shapes up for Australia | GoAuto

    Alpine shapes up for Australia

    Renault’s revived sportscar division, Alpine, promises quick kick-off for Oz

    14 September 2015

    By RON HAMMERTON in PARIS

    RENAULT’S born-again Alpine sub-brand is Australia-bound, with the boss of the resurrected sportscar manufacturer saying that Australia should account for a “not negligible” share of Alpine volume.

    One day after skirting around the question of right-hand drive production and Australian sales, Alpine CEO Bernard Olliver on Sunday said production of right-hand-drive vehicles would start at the same time as left-hand drive, with Australia in line to get deliveries “quite soon” after the assembly line starts to roll.

    While he cautioned that the production launch date would be “nothing before 2017” and could blow out by months if the development team needs more time to perfect the vehicle, a factory representative at the Dieppe plant told journalists that the target start date was late 2016.

    The manager also disclosed that a component supplier convention for Alpine’s first own-brand vehicle in 20 years was scheduled for late this month, signalling the start of the pre-production process leading up to the vehicle’s launch.

    Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar said an Alpine launch strategy for Australian had not been defined, with various models such as digital distribution and a small network of capital city dealerships to be examined and discussed with Renault’s partners.

    He stopped short of definitively confirming Alpine for this market, saying: “Should it be made available to Australia, we would be quite interested.”

    Renault Australia already takes delivery of 10 per cent of global Clio Renault Sport (RS) production, along with a large slice of Megane RS volume.

    “We know RS is not Alpine, but based on that (Clio and Megane sales), hopefully we can get a good share,” Mr Hocevar said.

    The unnamed Alpine sportscar will be run down the same assembly line as the Renault Clio RS at the boutique plant in Dieppe – the French coastal town that last weekend marked the 60th anniversary of Alpine’s birth there – even though the premium two-seater will take twice as long to build as the hot Clio.

    Mr Olliver all but confirmed that the first Alpine model in 20 years will have a bespoke platform and “an Alpine engine”, but he declined to give details or to confirm a mid-engine layout.

    He scotched suggestions that the Alpine car would share the Clio’s architecture, saying the Clio was “quite heavy”.

    “The DNA of an Alpine is not the DNA of a Clio,” he said, adding that the Clio RS was usually bought by younger drivers who needed their vehicle to have four seats and “do everything” such as take the kids to school.

    By contrast, the Alpine might be the owner’s third or fourth car and be bought simply for pleasure.

    Unlike the three-door Clio that arrives at Dieppe from another Renault factory as a body-in-white with all the major steel panels stamped and welded in readiness to be painted and receive the powertrain and fittings, the Alpine car’ s panels will be formed at the Alpine factory on new machinery being installed there.

    Most pundits expect the Alpine to have a structure of aluminium to keep the weight down – a key goal of the design and engineering team.

    Mr Olliver said the engine would be “fully adapted” to achieve the target power-to-weight-ratio, which he said was a signature of Alpine since its inception.

    He said all the “tools” in the 21st century Alpine sportscar would be modern, most likely meaning a dual-clutch transmission could be the sole transmission choice.

    That transmission is likely to be the same Getrag unit as the Clio RS, but perhaps with different ratios. The engine is also likely to be the same 1.6-litre turbo-charged, direct-inject four-cylinder as the Clio RS, but with tweaks to suit the Alpine’s car’s desired characteristics.

    If the latest Alpine concept is any guide, the powertrain will sit sideways behind the seats as a form of transaxle driving the rear wheels, Alfa 4C style.

    Alpine hopes to build 3000-4000 cars a year, but Mr Olliver said that the exact volume projections would be impossible to call.

    “Volume is not our objective,” he said. “Of course, it will be important to be able to see Alpines on the road, but not too many, as we want Alpine to be exclusive.”

    Mr Olliver said relaunching Alpine after 20 years made it difficult establish the value of the brand and thus set prices.

    “Today, we are working on this,” he said.



    Article 3 - 16/9/2015

    Link - Renault Alpine - Frankfurt show: Alpine looks to China, the US | GoAuto

    Frankfurt show: Alpine looks to China, the US

    Renault’s Alpine plans three-model range as reborn sports brand reveals world tilt


    16 September 2015

    By RON HAMMERTON in FRANKFURT

    RENAULT Group is considering a proposal for its Alpine premium sportscar brand to go global with a range of up to three vehicles.

    The world’s two biggest markets, the United States and China, are included in the draft plan that will be put to the board for a decision in early 2016.

    The scheme was revealed by Renault executive vice-president Jerome Stoll in an interview with Australian journalists at the Frankfurt motor show today.

    Mr Stoll said the plan was laid out “on paper” for consideration by management.

    Alpine is in the final throes of developing its first Alpine model in 20 years, a lightweight sportscar with design inspiration drawn from the classic Alpine A110.

    The final, unnamed production car is said to be closely based on the Alpine Celebration concept that has been doing the rounds of various events in France since June.

    The success or otherwise of this coupe in the showrooms will determine whether the other Alpine models go ahead.

    Fully owned by Renault Group, Alpine is a 60-year-old French sportscar-maker and racing outfit that last produced Alpine-branded roads cars in 1995.

    Mr Stoll said that although Renault did not have a presence under its own banner in the United States, it could look to partners Nissan and Infiniti and their dealer networks to establish Alpine there.

    “As you know we are not alone in the US,” he said. “We may use our friends.”

    The first Alpine sportscar is expected to be launched in Europe and the UK in early 2017, with Australia following shortly after.

    Other markets are expected to include Japan, Russia and North Africa.

    Mr Stoll also revealed a hybrid powertrain was possible for one of the three Alpine models that – should it go ahead – would be built on a platform shared with Nissan.

    This might be the crossover Nissan Gripz that was revealed this week at the Frankfurt show and rumoured to preview the replacement for the Nissan 370Z.

    But Mr Stoll said the yet-to-be-released hybrid powertrain might not eventuate, as other solutions to achieve fuel efficiency goals might be sufficient unless emissions regulations change.

    Renault and Nissan are also in talks about ways to beef up their high-performance powertrain resources.

    Mr Stoll said Renault was under pressure to broaden its Renault Sport range from the current two – Megane RS and Clio RS – while at the same time raising engine power.

    He said Nissan’s Nismo also had further high-performance car ambitions that could benefit from such co-operation.
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  5. #5
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    & another story on it from Autocar:

    2016 Renault Alpine A120 to be crowned with 300bhp hardcore special | Autocar

    cheers! Peter

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