Malcolm Flynn | Aug 17, 2012

A new report suggests that Lotus may still be in the running to assist with the anticipated revival of the Alpine badge, despite recent information to the contrary.

US site Inside Line reports that Alpine master Renault may use its links with Nissan and Infiniti - which in turn has links with Lotus - to develop the model using Lotus underpinnings.

Infiniti’s relationship with Lotus is most apparent in the Emerg-E concept revealed at Geneva earlier this year, which shares its drivetrain and underpinnings with the earlier Lotus Evora 414E range-extended hybrid concept.

The report suggests that a production version of the Emerg-E could also spawn an Alpine-bodied variant, with both new models possibly built alongside the existing Evora at Lotus’ Hethel, UK plant.

Such a collaboration would follow long-practised platform-sharing principles, enabling the respective brands to reduce development periods and costs, while still enabling models to maintain unique styling and drivelines.

The possible return of the Alpine badge was most recently foreshadowed with Renault’s unveiling of the Alpine A110-50 concept in June.

A production version of the mid-engined A110-50 concept could feasibly meld well with the Evora’s mid-engined architecture.

Such a tie-in with mainstream manufacturers could prove a boon for the troubled Lotus, following its recent ownership concerns, sacking of CEO Dany Bahar and the scrapping of its infamous ‘five new models by 2015’ plans.

The Inside Line report contrasts however with information last week from French mag L’Equipe, which stated that Lotus had been shunned by Renault in favour of fellow UK sports car maker Caterham.

Whatever the case, the expectation of Alpine’s return is certainly intensifying.

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