Could it be, we wondered, the start of something big?

When Alpine launched the A110 last year, they talked of bespoke retailers and making “the lightest cars in whatever class we’re in”. It all seemed a lot of trouble to go to if Alpine was only going to create a single model.

Sure, a convertible and a faster version of the A110 were, and surely remain, in Alpine’s plan too. But beyond that, was this just the first launch of many? Could Alpine be for Renault what Mini is to BMW?

Hmm. This week, Alpine boss Michael van der Sande is leaving, to replace John Edwards at Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO division. Meanwhile, Alpine chief engineer David Twohig has moved to electric car start-up Byton.

Maybe that’s simply because they’re so in demand – what with having created a brilliant new car – that they had offers they couldn’t refuse. I just hope it’s not because there’s too little in Alpine’s plans to keep them there.

Electric cars

There’s a feature about BMW’s first electric city car prototype, the E1, of 1992, which looks not unlike the Audi A2 of the late 1990s or, in fact, BMW’s current i3.