Alpine will build its own platform for its planned electric sports car with the aim of producing more than one model, said Luca de Meo, CEO of Alpine parent Renault Group.
Alpine announced in May it had cancelled the joint collaboration with Lotus to produce a sports car, leaving questions about Alpine’s commitment to include a sports car in its shift to electric.
De Meo, however, has answered those questions. “We had a long discussion and finally decided to build our own platform,” he told Autocar at the reveal of the Renault Rafale SUV at the Paris air show.
De Meo said Alpine would build more than one model off the platform, without revealing whether the planned new architecture would stretch to more than just sports cars. Alpine will reveal more about its future line-up at an investor day to be held next Monday (26 July), said de Meo.
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has said that the premium brand will launch five cars in five years, starting with next year’s Renault 5-based A290 hot hatch and followed by the GT X-Over compact crossover due in 2025. The electric sports car was due in 2026 with two larger SUVs aimed predominantly at the US market arriving after that.
Renault is positioning Alpine as a premium brand that will leverage both Renault technology and platforms from outside the group. The sports car collaboration with Lotus was announced in 2021 and spoken of as a win for both brands in keeping the costs of building a bespoke electric platform down.
“Lotus and us share the same preoccupation, which is trying to make light, agile sports cars while obviously adding weight and electrifying,” Rossi previously told Autocar.
Under the memorandum of understanding, the A110 was planned to share a chassis and technologies with the Lotus Type 135 including having its battery cells stacked vertically behind the driver. Lotus has said it will continue with the project despite Alpine’s exit.
Renault’s decision to go it alone on the platform will increase costs for what will be a niche halo product, designed to take over from the A110 coupé. De Meo’s decision to build more than one product on the platform will help defray the extra expense. De Meo hinted at a halo hypercar. “You never know we me,” he joked.
The decision to exit the Lotus collaboration was amicable, said de Meo. “There was no friction with the thing because everybody was feeling like this was the best thing,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we don’t have opportunities to work together again.”
Alpine has said it needs to look outside the group platform to build the larger SUVs, with Lotus still in the frame to possibly collaborate on that project.