Alpine was a French sports car manufacturer closely linked to Renault (its models used mechanics from the diamond’s signature) from its birth. Under the control of the French giant since 1973, Alpine languished until its demise in 1995. In 2017, however, Renault relaunched the brand with the second-generation A110, a celebrated mid-engined sports car rival to the Porsche Cayman.
Due to the crisis in which the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has been plunged in recent times, the resurrected brand’s continuity has been called into question during the first stages of the year. However, the new CEO of Renault, Luca de Meo, has decided to strengthen the Norman firm, making it one of the four main pillars of the Renault Group.
This firm commitment has been accompanied by a series of movements to enhance its image: from 2021, Renault’s Formula 1 team will be renamed Alpine; besides, the brand will also compete in the LMP1 class at Le Mans. Renault’s intention is to turn Alpine into a rival manufacturer to Porsche with a high-performance electric range.
According to a leaked memo, Renault wants Alpine to develop a small range of electric cars. This is consistent with recent statements by Alpine CEO Patrick Marinoff, who confirmed the arrival of new models in the range during an interview. “[New] models are coming to Alpine. We can’t say when and what, but the Alpine brand’s momentum is very strong, and our new CEO, Luca de Meo, is a promoter of Alpine as a brand.”
Given this, some media have speculated that Alpine might be in charge of developing a sportier version of the Renault ZOE. A movement similar to that carried out in the 70s and 80s with the legendary R5, whose sportier versions received the name Alpine and Alpine Turbo (in Spain they were sold as Copa and Copa Turbo).
However, this seems unlikely, as Renault is making great efforts to develop Alpine as an independent brand capable of rivaling such rivals as Porsche or Maserati. According to the leaks, the brand’s next model will be a rival electric SUV to the Porsche Macan sitting on the modular CMF-EV platform, which will arrive in 2023.