Renault is planning to turn its highly rated Renaultsport division into a stand-alone brand with its own unique models — starting with a roadster based on the stunning Dezir concept.
The French manufacturer has decided to build upon Renaultsport’s reputation for fine-handling hot hatches instead of reviving the classic Alpine badge.
Renault product manager Beatrice Foucher told Autocar, “Renaultsport is key to Renault’s strategy. It already has excellent loyalty and is perceived by some owners as a brand in its own right, and we can develop that further. “We will continue working on derivative versions of the Mégane, for example, because that’s a terrific car and excellent for us. But we also need specific models only for Renaultsport. We have started working on that; we’re thinking of small volumes, where there are good business models.”
Foucher insisted that no decision has been taken — but admitted that Renaultsport could potentially support “two or three” unique models beyond its breathed-on hatchbacks.
That line-up is likely to start with a version of the Dezir, which previewed Renault’s new front-end styling. The concept will influence the firm’s entire next generation of models (including the Clio, due at the 2012 Paris show) — but one senior insider said it is now “highly probable” that a version of the sports car will make production.
The source also indicated that the car would be a convertible, that it would be produced as a limited-run Renaultsport model, and that it “won’t be cheap”. A figure of £30k has been mooted.