It’s still happening, honest: 2017 Alpine sports car prototype revealed | CAR Magazine

It’s still happening, honest: 2017 Alpine sports car prototype revealed

Published: 27 September 2016 Updated: 29 September 2016

Alpine sports car prototype spotted
Production set to start next year
Testing with new Clio R.S. 16 mule

Back in 2012, Renault and Caterham announced a collaboration that would result in – among other things – the revival of Alpine and all-new Alpine sports car.

That deal, unfortunately but somewhat predictably, collapsed as quickly and as effortlessly as a Jenga tower on a vibration plate. Since then, Renault’s busied itself with re-establishing Alpine, releasing concept after concept.

Finally, if these spy shots are anything to go on, it looks like the production version of the new Alpine sports car is nearing completion. This prototype, spotted undergoing trials alongside the new Clio R.S. 16, appears to be based on the Vision Concept that was revealed in February this year. 

That concept, which featured a mid-mounted turbocharged four-cylinder engine, was claimed to represent around ‘80% of the production car.’

So when’s the new Alpine coupe due?

From what we understand, production of the new sports car is due to start next year ­– so it should be available in dealerships in 2017, too.

2017 Alpine sports car prototype

Around 60-80 Renault outlets across Europe will be kitted out to deal with Alpine sales. Initial reports suggest that the production capacity exists to build thousands of Alpines a month, but not tens of thousands.

What can we expect from it?

Alpine boss Michael van der Sande, when CAR spoke to him at an event earlier in the year, said: ‘It will punch above its weight for its performance. The brief was for it to be fun to drive but at sensible speeds.’

2017 Alpine sports car prototype

What will it be called?

Renault currently has trademarks for AS110 and AS1, but there’s been no formal steer as to what the final production Alpine will be called.

How powerful is it?

The reputedly lightweight sports car will use a mid-mounted four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, producing in the region of around 250bhp. It will also feature what’s likely to be a dual-clutch transmission, presumably a derivative of Renault’s EDC gearbox, based on the appearance of paddle-shifters in the concepts so far. 

2017 Alpine sports car prototype

Performance estimates put its 0-62mph time at around 4.5sec – so the Alpine will go head-to-head with the likes of the new four-cylinder Porsche 718 Cayman.

When will we find out more?

We’re expecting to find out more about the new Alpine towards the end of the year.

Read more about the Alpine Vision Concept and Alpine’s revival here

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car