Renault Alpine To Square-off With 4C And Evora Says Tavares: Report Photo:
Malcolm Flynn | Mar, 12 2013 | 3 Comments

Renault boss Carlos Tavares has flagged the Alfa Romeo 4C and Lotus Evora as key targets for Alpine’s upcoming brand-reviving sports car.

Earlier reports highlighted the Porsche Boxster and Audi TT as the as-yet unnamed Alpine’s main rivals, but the limited production 4C and low-volume Evora are a decidedly more natural fit.

Speaking with UK mag Autocar, Tavares outlined his realistic ambitions for the brand’s revival:

“It would be arrogant to say we could go head-to-head with Porsche and win, but I think Lotus and Alfa are realistic targets.”

Like the 4C and Evora, the limited-volume Alpine is expected to use a rear or mid-engined layout, driving the rear wheels, and also matching the 4C’s two-seat layout.

Tavares also stressed his intention for the new model to be unique from Renault-branded models.

“If I put Alpine in the big washing machine of the Renault group, it will kill it.”

“There is a certain level of commonality between the projects, but what we are being very careful to do is leave both sides freedom to express themselves.”

This last comment could hint at a new Renault-badged model, sharing the Alpine’s platform to contain costs, although exactly what Tavares and his team have planned remains a mystery.

Tavares also pointed out that shared Renault componentry was also integral to the earlier Alpine A110’s design.

“People must remember that the genius of the A110 design was that it used existing parts.”

“Nobody criticised then, and I am optimistic they will not now. Without sharing parts the small scales of the project would mean it would be too expensive to even consider.”

Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker stressed that Renault and Alpine models will by no means share the stylistic commonality of the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ twins.

van den Acker did reaffirm his earlier comments that the Alpine will carry retro design cues from the A110.

“The vehicle that seduced people was the A110, so it would be irresponsible of me not to realise people’s dreams of what this car should be. I will give them what they want, but it will be with a modern twist.”

“Think of the Mini and Fiat 500 as examples of retro designs that have been modernised - that is the feel I am hoping for.”

Tavares and van den Acker both supported the likelihood of the Alpine brand expanding into multiple models, if this first model is well received by consumers.

“We all love Alpine within the company, but this first car will be a measure for us of how much other people love it,” said van den Acker.

“If it is a success, then yes I can see space for us to expand. Who would have thought Porsche could grow to have so many cars?”

“Porsche has shown what is possible if you get everything right.”

A launch date within three years has been hinted for this first new Alpine, suggesting the new model will appear some time in 2015.

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