Steane Klose | Feb 26, 2009

We felt more than a small stir of excitement when Renault announced it would be reviving the Alpine nameplate.

Rumours suggested that Renault would use the 370Z's platform to build a two-seater coupe that would be designed from the ground up as a sports car - unlike other Renault hotties such as the R26, which is based on a standard road car.

Unfortunately - and not surprisingly, given the shape of the industry right now - plans for such a car have been axed as Renault, like the majority of its manufacturer peers, shifts its focus to volume-selling products and looks to cut costs wherever it can.

renault_alpine_2

Renault's Patrick Pelata said the cancellation of the Alpine project was a direct result of the current economic crisis - a “casualty” of the times.

Had it made it to market, the Renault Alpine would have been a mid-engine two-seater aimed at cars such as Mazda's highly popular MX-5. For now, we'll have to wonder what might have been and hope that, when the economy does finally make a turn around, projects such as this can again get the green light.

It seems we have even greater reason to be thankful that the 370Z is with us now: if the Z's development had taken any longer, we might never have seen it on the road at all.

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