Production versions of the Renault Alpine and Infiniti Emerg-e concepts could be built in Britain
Richard Bremner Autocar
13 August 2012

The new Renault Alpine and a production version of the widely acclaimed Infiniti Emerg-e supercar concept could be built for the two companies by Lotus.

Infiniti has yet to confirm that it will go ahead with the supercar, which in prototype form is based on the Lotus Evora 414E concept, but design chief Shiro Nakamura has suggested that it “could be built in Britain”, adding it would make sense given that the concept has mostly been developed in the UK.

Meanwhile, Renault marketing boss Steve Norman has confirmed that a new Alpine would be mid or rear-engined. He has previously said the project “probably needs more than the Renault-Nissan Alliance on its own”.

Basing both models on the Evora platform would make sense. The Emerg-e is currently being developed as a running prototype using the Evora platform and Lotus’s experimental 414E range-extender drivetrain. The same layout would suit an Alpine Renault, given its history of rear-engined models such as the A110 and the GTA.

Sharing an existing platform would dramatically improve the business case for the Alpine and the Emerg-e, while Lotus needs the business, given its current disastrously low sales. 

Both cars would be relatively low volume. The French brand reckons on annual sales of just a few thousand.

 

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Comments
12

13 August 2012

Sounds like a very sensible plan; the sort of thing that Lotus would excel at and would probably do a much better job at than Renault/Nissan trying to start from scratch.

It also sounds like the sort of idea that Dany Bahar would never approve of, so maybe things are already improving at Lotus now that he's gone.

16 December 2012

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13 August 2012

Last time I looked Alpine was a company not a badge, somewhere with a factory and everything. Dieppe, wasn't it? Where did that go?

13 August 2012

Londonist wrote:

Last time I looked Alpine was a company not a badge, somewhere with a factory and everything. Dieppe, wasn't it? Where did that go?

Isn't that now RenaultSport?

13 August 2012

Building cars for other compaines is usually a very risky business model as you are the first thing to be pulled as soon as times get difficult.

Most coachbuilders have already gone the way of the Dodo unfortunately.

13 August 2012

Orangewheels wrote:

Building cars for other compaines is usually a very risky business model as you are the first thing to be pulled as soon as times get difficult.

True, but it is the sort of idea that could work for both Lotus and Renault/Nissan right now - even if it is never envisaged as being a permanent relationship.  Renault/Nissan get a low-cost start into the sportcar marketplace, and if it works, the second-gen cars can be designed and built in-house.  In the short-medium term, Lotus gets a kick start to its production to cover the gaping holes in its own order books (and balance sheet) while it works on its own next-gen cars.

Or, if the arrangement is satisfactory and both parties want to carry on, even better.

13 August 2012

I wonder how Toyota will take to Lotus working with Nissan/Renault, I suspect some of the hybrid technology Lotus are using is borrowed from Toyota...

14 August 2012

Orangewheels wrote:

Building cars for other compaines is usually a very risky business model as you are the first thing to be pulled as soon as times get difficult.

Most coachbuilders have already gone the way of the Dodo unfortunately.

I agree. Pininfarina (Fiat Coupé, Peugeot 406 Coupé), Bertone (Astra cabrio and coupé, BMW C1, Punto Cabrio and many others), Matra (3 generations of Espace, and the Avantime). And the build of the Opel GT hasn't been very successful for Lotus either.

13 August 2012

Why not a Lotus platform and an assembling in Dieppe?

I thought about the Lotus hypothesis.

 

14 August 2012

Remember the Renault Spider ?

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

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