Monday, November 5, 2012

Caterham and Renault to collaborate on new Alpine (Autoblog)

Renault teams with Caterham to revive historic Alpine brand

Renault Classic Alpine
Posted Nov 5th 2012 1:01PM

Back in May, Renault rolled out the bright blue Alpine A110-50 concept, suggesting an exciting revival for the historic Alpine name. Today, the automaker has announced a partnership with UK-based Caterham to build high-end sports cars at Renault's Alpine plant in Dieppe, Normandy, in France. Caterham will own a 50 per cent stake in the partnership to be called the Societe des Automobiles Alpine Caterham (SAAC).

"This innovative partnership with Caterham embodies a longstanding ambition: the creation of a sports car with the Alpine DNA," said Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn in a press release. It carries both opportunities for the Dieppe plant and the development of its historic know-how."

The two companies released few details of the new venture's products, but the Future Caterham website features the silhouetted outline of a swoopy coupe that very closely matches the A110-50 concept. The two brands expect to release a model each within four years and produce "several thousand vehicles a year," according to Ghosn.

At the press conference there was also Formula 1 talk. Renault no longer directly competes in the series, but does provide engines to four teams including Caterham F1. At the meeting, Caterham Chairman Tony Fernandes said, "If you look at Formula One, there's only Ferrari and McLaren, which are extremely expensive. We'll produce a car that many more people can afford with F1 technology."

Will an Alpine be sold in North America? It seems every European automaker is busy trying to offset sales declines in their traditional markets, so we'd have to say definitely maybe. Stay tuned.

Click here to watch a video and read the full press release.

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