The sports car joint venture between Renault and Caterham is rumoured to be on the verge of collapse, following months of speculation regarding tensions between the two companies. Renault announced in 2012 that it was planning to resurrect the Alpine brand with a new sports car, teaming up with Caterham whose Formula 1 team uses Renault engines. The 50:50 joint venture company, Société des Automobiles Alpine Caterham, was slated to build the two cars at Renaultsport’s Dieppe plant in France, the historical home of Alpine. The trouble started earlier this year when lukewarm response from customer clinics forced Renault to put the styling of the Alpine back to the drawing board. This pushed the introduction of both cars back to late 2016 at the earliest, as Caterham would have to modify its design – which had been set in stone months before – to follow suit. As of now, the two sports cars are still set to be unveiled on schedule, although it is unclear whether … [Read more...] about Alpine-Caterham sports car deal to be cancelled?
Caterham is developing a crossover SUV and a subcompact car with Renault, chairman Tan Sri Tony Fernandes has said, in an ambitious attempt to transform the small-volume British sports car maker into a global premium brand, according to Reuters. The models are likely to surface not long after the first Caterham/Renault Alpine sports cars are launched in 2016, the AirAsia founder told the news agency. We’ve previously reported that the first product will be code-named CT02, and a locally-assembled version is likely for Malaysia. “Sports cars will do well but the city car and SUV are what the (Asian) market really wants,” said Fernandes, adding that Caterham hopes to emulate the success of the Range Rover Evoque. “If we get the SUV right it will be huge.” The new Caterham models would be Renault-based and shipped in semi-finished form for final assembly in Asia. The French carmaker has confirmed that it is studying the feasibility of these vehicles with … [Read more...] about Caterham planning Renault-based crossover, subcompact in attempt to become global brand
It was only a matter of time before Renault announced the return of its resting Alpine brand. The clues were obvious when the French carmaker first introduced the Renault Alpine A110-50, followed by the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo and more recently, the Renault Alpine Celebration. The combined effort of all this endeavours culminates into this, the Alpine Vision, a “concept” that previews an upcoming rival for the Porsche Cayman and Audi TT. Drawing upon Alpine’s legacy with the iconic Alpine A110 Berlinette from 1966, the “concept” looks very much like Alpine’s 60th birthday gift, save for the throwback blue/orange livery, and with a few tweaks here and there. Thankfully, the retro auxiliary headlamps as seen on the A110 are still here, along with the slender side mirrors. The primary headlights appear to be of the LED variety, with typical French craziness in their design (just look at the image!). At the rear, the Alpine vision loses some of its … [Read more...] about Renault Alpine Vision previews Porsche Cayman rival
As Autocar UK understands, Renault’s Alpine-badged sports car is due to make its appearance in concept form at the upcoming 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. So, while it’s all progressing as planned for Renault and the Alpine name, things are looking slightly more muddled over at Caterham. Confused? Don’t be. Wind the clock back a year or two and you’ll understand what went down. Back in 2012, it was announced that the two firms would collaborate on the development of a mid-engined sports car that would see Renault and Caterham launch its own take on the project. Unfortunately, said marriage fell apart in 2014 when the divorce was finalised – resulting in Renault gaining a 100% stake in the Alpine brand. Ever since then, reports have indicated that Caterham is still hard at work developing its own sports car despite the fallout. Its stillborn car, coded C120, is widely believed to be close to production-ready as the British firm will employ … [Read more...] about Artega bought by Tony Fernandes’ Caterham Group?
It’s been a long time coming, this one – Renault’s Alpine-badged sports car was first mooted way back in 2012 with the project seemingly see-sawing between success and failure. In November that year, it was announced that Renault would collaborate with Caterham to assemble a sports car, a venture that even saw the birth of a prototype. Unfortunately, a fallout between the two firms in 2014 resulted in Renault gaining the fabled brand for itself. Ever since then, progress surrounding the Boxster/TT rival was glacial at best. Or so we thought. As Automotive News Europe understands, Renault may be looking to parade a pre-production concept of the car at next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Citing French magazine, Challenges, the report indicates a likely debut date of June 13 and 14 for the long-awaited sports car after CEO of Renault-Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, approved a €600 million injection of funds into the Alpine brand. Said concept will, … [Read more...] about Renault’s Alpine sports car inches ever closer to production – will rival Porsche Boxster, Audi TT
UPDATE: According to The Malaysian Insider, Tony Fernandes says the JV will eventually produce city cars and a crossover SUV. The first product, codenamed CT02, is expected to roll out in 2015 and for Malaysia, there will be a CKD version. Here’s an unexpected piece of news. Renault and Caterham Group today announced their decision to join forces to design, develop and build future sports vehicles. The fruits of the marriage will be “distinctive, differentiated, and carry the respective DNA of Alpine and Caterham Cars”, which means that the legendary Alpine brand, bought in 1973 by Renault, will be revived! Jean Rédélé, pilot, businessman and automotive pioneer, founded Alpine in 1955. The sleek 50-year old A110 in the pic above is probably the most recognisable Alpine sports car. The younger ones who are old enough to know what “Top Trumps” is would probably remember the sharp lines of the Alpine A310 and A610. During its existence, Alpine … [Read more...] about Renault revives Alpine brand, teams up with Malaysian owned Caterham Group to build sports cars
Following the preview of the Renault Alpine Vision, a camouflaged test mule has appeared to be testing on public roads in something close to production form. Following cues from the beautiful A110 classic, the Alpine here is mid-engined and rear-wheel-drive, said to produce approximately 250 hp from a four-cylinder turbocharged engine. On the exterior, the headlamps and front bumper inset foglamps are carried over, with BMW-style corona rings as daytime running lights. Around the rear, the tail lamps feature the “X” graphic also seen on the concept car, as is the centrally mounted exhaust outlet. Key rivals when the Alpine comes to market include the Audi TT S and the Porsche Cayman, and though the Alpine’s rumoured 250 hp output figure is some way below the Audi’s and the Porsche’s, it counters by weighing in at approximately 300 kg less than the Cayman. As rumoured before, the Alpine is expected to weigh about 1,100 kg. Initially a joint venture with … [Read more...] about SPIED: Alpine sportscar out testing in production body
We haven’t put a wrong title on; what you see here really is the Alpine-Caterham lightweight sports car project caught field-testing. There isn’t a recent Alpine or Caterham body that’s suitable to use for the test mule, so an old Lotus Exige skin will do. What gave its identity away, you ask? For starters, it’s running on French plates, and our European spy photographers CarPix said that an entourage of Renault Sport models escorted the test mule around the track. It looks to be an early prototype test to see how the mechanical package stacks up. Nothing much to comment on the car seen here, other than its heavily blistered wheelarches hiding a much wider chassis on the final production car. What we do know of the upcoming model is that it will be a lightweight, mid-engined sports car in the mould of the classic Alpine A110 from the Sixties, which last year’s A110-50 Concept paid homage to. In modern terms it’ll be closer to the Alfa Romeo 4C … [Read more...] about SPIED: Alpine-Caterham coupe starts track testing
Here are design patent images of what looks like a production version of the Alpine Celebration Concept that made its debut at Le Mans earlier this month. The design surfaced via the World Intellectual Property Organization and dates back to December 2014, although they were only recently published. The images show a coupe that largely similar to the Alpine Celebration Concept, but with a slightly revised rear end. The concept car’s protruding wing and rear diffuser with twin pipes and F1-style fog lamp have been deleted, and in the latter’s place is a lower rear bumper with a large central exhaust pipe. The concept features spotlights sitting high on the front bumper, inspired by the classic Alpine A110 Berlinetta, and we see the LED lighting signatures here for the first time. They look like insects when not lighted up! The rear lamps, which are slim and a little F-Type-like, have ‘X’ graphics. The production Alpine sports car is set to debut next year as a … [Read more...] about Production Alpine coupe revealed via design patents?
Much like the spyshots of yore, the yet-to-be-named Renault Alpine sports coupe has been spotted out and about in southern Spain undergoing tests in a Lotus suit. Since the debut of the Renault Alpine Celebration concept in June 2015, this sighting represents the most concrete evidence of the car’s imminent arrival aside from the earlier leaked patent images of the mid-engined coupe. Externally, not much can be deduced as the mule’s Exige-inspired bodywork all but masks the actual shape of the car. With that said, things get a little more interesting at the tail end of the car as said prototype features an elongated rear deck – a design element that definitely marks it out from any other regular Exige. The lengthened rear end of the mule plus its sole, centrally-mounted exhaust outlet certainly corresponds to one of the aforementioned patent shots. Other telltales include much wider wheel arches compared to the regular Exige while the engine cover has been blacked … [Read more...] about SPIED: Renault Alpine coupe dons Lotus suit for tests