Get to know Alpine, the sports car brand that wants to...

When we put together our annual compendium of cars, we couldn’t wait to drive in 2018. A strange name was on the list: Alpine. The French brand, maker of cult favorite sports cars and Le Mans racers, closed the store over 20 years ago in 1995, but Renault decided to revive it and bring back the two-door A110.

If you haven’t heard of the revitalization of the Alps, there is a clear reason. Although the brand is an attractive sports car with style, driving experience, and price (the A110 starts at around $ 62,000, converted to US dollars), the brand sold just 4,835 cars worldwide in 2019 Bloomberg. But Renault boss Luca de Meo has a plan to change this and turn Alpine into a “mini Ferrari”.

De Meo stepped up as Renault’s new CEO this summer and has made great demands on the future of the struggling French automaker. This also includes making Alpine a household name. The Ferrari comparison is appropriate; how Bloomberg de Meo has renamed the Renault Formula 1 team under the name Alpine from 2021 and is also working on expanding Alpine consumer car production.

How did you do that? Expansion into the USA could be an important growth path. Right: From this point onwards, alpine cars will no longer be sold in the USA, but if they want to achieve the status of a “mini Ferrari” this would certainly help. And as managing director Patrick Marinoff said in the past: “If it were a [definite] “No,” the answer would be much shorter … The question is very valid and I can give you a little speculation. “So you are definitely open to the idea.

Entering other markets isn’t the only tactic they deal with, however. “De Meo gave some clues as to where the brand will go next and said last week that it” will “emotionalize Renault’s electric range,” he wrote Bloomberg. “In a memo to employees last month, he called on Alpine to start a ‘Porsche 911 program’ and produce a small series of viable electric vehicles.”

A European sports car that could compete with Porsche and Ferrari in the US? What is there not to love?

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