Peter Anderson | May 16, 2012

Reports out of Europe this week suggest that Renault is planning to unveil a new Alpine concept at next week's Monaco Grand Prix.

We first got wind of the revival of the Alpine nameplate last September.

Then, in January, Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker hinted that the Alpine's 50th anniversary could not pass without 'something' being done to celebrate.

These latest reports represent yet another possible rebirth for Alpine, the last being about three years ago before the GFC intervened, forcing Renault to kill the project.

The idea at the time was that the Alpine brand would feature purpose-built sports cars, sitting above the Renaultsport offerings based on existing road cars.

Founded by Jean Redele, Alpine became synonymous with rallying success in the 1970s with the A110.

In 1971 and 1973, Alpine swept the podium at the Rally Monte Carlo. They went on to win the 1973 World Rally Championship against the likes of Ford, Lancia and Porsche.

The A110 was produced in various guises, starting with the 1962 956cc-powered version producing 38kW. By 1974, the A110 sported a 134kW engine - with a competition weight of just 620kg, the power deficit was more than covered by its lightness.

The oil crisis hit Alpine hard. Combined with the need for an A110 replacement, falling sales and the soaring cost of petrol, the company was rescued by Renault in 1974.

Alpine continued to compete in the WRC, but other manufacturers copied the concept of the A110, the most notable and nowadays more famous Lancia Stratos taking the ascendancy.

Alpine was merged with Gordini, the result being Renaultsport. Some race cars were still badged Alpine, with the Alpine A442B winning the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Alpine's last road car was the A610. Production at the Dieppe factory ended in 1994 and a new era ushered in, the wacky Renaultsport Spider rolling down the production line before Clio Williams, the first Clio V6, Clio 172 and 182.

As for this reported new Monaco-bound car, there is very little to go on - it could be a modern rendition of the A110, or something a bit more production-possible, such as a car based on the Nissan GT-R or 370Z.

We'll let you know as soon as (or if) the covers are removed.

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