Renault‘s newly appointed CEO Luca de Meo has laid out a road map which will secure the future of the Alpine brand, but it’s set to become a very different entity. The plan appears to revolve around binning the Renault Sport brand, with future performance products from the company adopting Alpine badging.
Speaking to Car Throttle sister title Auto Express, the former Seat boss said: “As I did with Cupra, I will find a point of contact between the Alpine brand and some Renault models…We need to be credible on that, so I’m not going to do that with Kangoo or Espace – I’m going to do that with things that fit the positioning of the brand.”
A likely candidate for the Alpine performance treatment would be the new Clio. At present, the sole Renault Sport product is the Megane RS300, but the future of the standard version of the hatchback beyond the current generation is in doubt.
De Meo also talked about creating, “a mini-Ferrari” by putting the upcoming Alpine F1 team in the middle of a “business ecosystem”. The idea is Alpine will have “a presence in motorsport, engineering, production and distribution”.
In the short term, Alpine’s reinvention will be a good thing for the A110 sports car. “I want to organise a lifecycle management of the A110 a little bit like the Porsche 911, so we will have different versions,” de Meo said. He even fancies an electric derivative, although that would require a partner to make it a production reality.
A second-generation version of the mid-engined sports car still looks unlikely, though. Renault has already talked of the “reconversion of the Dieppe plant at the end of the production of the Alpine A110,” and de Meo’s further comments about what the Alpine brand should represent don’t fill us with confidence for the sports car’s longer-term prospects.
“We have to stop with the nostalgia on Alpine and use Alpine as an opportunity to project ourselves into the future, when it comes to distribution, technology, electric cars, etc,” he said.
Still, considering it was rumoured earlier this year that Alpine’s Dieppe factory would shut its doors for good as part of Renault’s €2 billion cost-cutting measures, we should count ourselves as lucky that the fabulous A110 will be sticking around for a little longer.