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by Adam Lynton
Production version of the A110-50 concept to cost around 50,000 Euros.
When Renault unveiled the stunning A110-50 Concept as a tribute to the original Alpine 110, those that had predicted the Alpine brand would one day rise from the ashes saw their prophecy about to come true. The fact that the A110-50 concept, one of the stars of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, utilizes proven technology easily adapted for production further entrenched their position. Now it seems by the end of the year we will know for sure whether the Alpine brand will be revived.
That's according to Renault's Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares who spoke with Auto Express. "I'm determined to relaunch the Alpine brand," said Tavares. "The first car will be a 21st century interpretation of the A110 Berlinette - it will cost around 50,000 Euros. That's the direction we're heading in. After that we can do anything we like." Although the 395-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 from the Renault Megane Trophy race car was used for the concept, if the high-performance sports car does make it to production, Renault could call on its partnership with Mercedes-Benz to provide motivation.
To turn a profit Renault will have to team up with another carmaker. "A deal exists and it's progressing," Tavares admitted. "We'll make a decision on the car by the end of 2012 and it'll take three to five years from then." With Renault and Nissan already forging a relationship with Mercedes, this seems the most likely partner; a mid-engine platform coming from the imminent SLC AMG coupe. Less likely is Lotus, who is in the frame only because of their alliance with Infiniti, providing the Evora chassis and hybrid powertrain for the Emerg-E.
If all goes to plan we hope the sensational design, including a carbon-fiber body and scissor doors, inspired by old models built by Alpine between 1955 and 1985, and on the Dezir concept car Renault unveiled in 2010, remains as true to the concept as possible.