Alpine Vision Gran Turismo concept: Renault’s virtual sports racer | CAR Magazine

Alpine Vision Gran Turismo concept: Renault’s virtual sports racer

Published: 28 January 2015 Updated: 02 February 2015

► Latest Gran Turismo concept is an Alpine
► One of the barmiest virtual racers yet
► Marks 60 years of Alpine brand

The Gran Turismo video game franchise is becoming as important an arena for creating and presenting concept cars as the world’s motor shows. Latest concept to appear in pixels is the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo, a futuristic sports racing car taking its styling cues from Renault-Alpine Le Mans cars of the past.

It’s been created partly to commemorate 60 years of the Alpine brand as the Renault subsidiary celebrates its landmark birthday this year. As with the other GT concept cars so far, it’ll be made available as a free download for Gran Turismo 6 so players will be able to get behind the wheel virtually from March 2015.

Renault Alpine Vision Gran Turismo concept: the design

Based on a proposal by designer Victor Sfiazof, the concept took around a year to make the journey from sketchpad to game

The nose is intended to echo the petite A110 rally car, but it’s the scalloped, layered rear that’s the car’s most striking angle.  Those long tail fins are inspired by the A210/A220 Le Mans cars of ’60s and their party trick is a pair of hydraulically-activated airbrakes which spring outwards, revealing hidden built-in brake lights. Neat.

Built around a carbon monocoque with partially exposed double-wishbone suspension, it’s powered by 444bhp 4.5-litre V8 mounted amidships and powering the rear wheels via a seven-speed sequential gearbox. Theoretical top speed is 199mph.

Does this digital flight of fancy have any real significance?

Despite the collapse of a collaborative project with Caterham, Renault is pushing ahead with plans to relaunch the Alpine brand in 2016 with a new sports car.  Intriguingly, certain elements of the Gran Turismo concept are said to echo the design of the upcoming road car. There are certainly a few traces of the 2012 Alpine A110-50 concept in there, too.

‘We took advantage of the exercise to subtly conceal several details that are directly inspired by the future Alpine which will see the light in 2016 – but I can’t give any more away about that…’ says Antony Villain, Alpine’s Design Director.

Villain also says there are several mutual benefits in creating a concept in this way:

‘There is genuine value in working this way. In my opinion, there is a bright future for this sort of collaboration. If we correlate the information we glean from both Gran Turismo and the real vehicle, further developments will become possible. Our objective is to offer a car whose dynamics match those that we initially defined. If everything is modelled perfectly, we can even continue to work on the car and compare it to other models.’

It’s been made for real too, albeit as a model

Alpine’s studio has created a full-scale model to display at the Paris Festival Automobile International in January 2015 until the 1st February. Following that it will be on show at the 2015 Rétromobile show, also in Paris, to coincide with further Alpine anniversary celebrations.

See the video below for more on the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo:

By James Taylor

Former features editor for CAR, occasional racer