New details of Renault and Caterham’s Alpine revival have emerged this week, hinting at the new model’s styling direction and drive philosophy.
The Renault/Caterham joint venture was confirmed in November, following the May unveiling of the Alpine A110-50 concept in Monaco.
Renault’s design chief Laurens van den Acker has indicated that the joint venture’s first road car will stray from the A110-50 concept’s contemporary Renault styling in favour of a more retro approach.
This approach contrasts with the popular consensus that the retro bubble - responsible for so many iconic design reboots through the noughties - has already burst.
Speaking with UK mag Autocar, Renault marketing boss Steve Norman promised that the new Alpine will appeal to enthusiasts, but will maintain everyday driveability.
“It won’t be more hardcore than a Mazda MX-5. What we do will not be soft, but not hardcore like a Peugeot 106 Rallye (stripped-out European-market hot hatch from 90s),” Norman said.
“It must be light and look different, and have a touch of French dash."
“It’s not a car for dandies, though. We know who the buyer is: he’s either French or a Francophile. And the car has technical innovation as part of its DNA.”
Like earlier Alpines, a two-seat layout and rear-mounted Renault engine is expected, driving the rear wheels.
Unlike the Boxter and TT though, the Alpine is likely to be produced in relatively low numbers.
"Ideally we'd like to build anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 cars annually in Alpine's original Dieppe, France, factory," Renault motorsport boss Jean-Pascal Dauce said.
A launch date within three years has also been hinted, suggesting the new model will appear some time in 2015.
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