Renault Group president and CEO Carlos Ghosn has greenlit plans to revive the Alpine brand, with the first production model due to debut in late 2016. French magazine Challenges broke the news, which was confirmed to the AFP.
According to Challenges, the CEO is willing to invest around €600 million to resurrect the car brand. In June, the company could unveil a new sports car coupe concept at the Le Mans 24 Hours race, where an Alpine A450B will be among the competing vehicles. The new concept is expected to resemble the famous A 110 "Berlinette" and is slated to go on sale in late 2016 for around €30,000. An SUV is also said to be in the works.
When Alpine turned heads on the road and at the track
Founded in 1955 by Renault pilot and dealer Jean Rédélé, the Alpine brand was integrated into the Renault Group ten years later. Aside from being known for its road-going production cars (Alpine 110, 310, 610, and others), the brand earned a sterling reputation at the track, winning the World Constructors' Championship in 1973 and the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1978. While the brand was discontinued in 1995, the Alpine name returned to the endurance racing circuit in 2013.
The expectations are high for this relaunch of the Alpine brand, following a previous failed attempt in partnership with Caterham. Renault's catalog will now include four distinct brands, each with a clearly defined target market: Dacia in the low-cost segment, Renault for the general consumer, Alpine in the sports car segment and Initial Paris for the luxury market.