The new Alpine sports car will be able to compete with the likes of the Alfa 4C and Lotus Evora when it is launched, according to Renault boss Carlos Tavares. However, he cautioned that it would be too much to expect for the firm to build a genuine Porsche Cayman rival immediately.
Tavares added that Caterham and Alpine personnel are deliberately being left enough freedom to operate independently to ensure that the creation of the co-developed sports car is not suffocated.
“If I put Alpine in the big washing machine of the Renault group, it will kill it,” said Tavares. “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.
"The two cars must not be brother and sister – they must stand on their own merits, and without too much suggestion of sharing the same parts.”
However, Tavares conceded that some reference to the Renault parts bin was inevitable. “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.”
“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.”
Both Tavares and van den Acker expressed hope that Alpine could be developed into a range of sports cars in time, but said it would only be possible if the recreated A110 was a sales success.
“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.”