After seeing Renault showed off its new Alpine sports car at both Le Mans this year and at Goodwood fans of the brand and fast cars in general will be excited to hear Renaultsport will be getting hold of the car to produce an even faster model in the months after the initial launch.
The Renault Alpine story is a long one; historically linked through racing cars the Alpine brand have always used Renault engines in their racing endeavors. Over the years Alpine became more and more a part of Renault itself and started producing fully fledged road rockets with them. However, the partnership has been a bit quite over the last 10-15 years until the announcement of this new sports car.
Renault are now officially calling the car the AS1 or Alpine Sports 1 which is a great name for what promises to be a great car. The focus with the earlier cars the brands did together was always around low weight and high power and the AS1 will be no exception. The aim is to take on the likes of Lotus who currently dominate the lightweight sports car market…well for cars that actually have a roof anyway. The car is heavily rumored for release next year and will have a 1.8 turbo charged engine pushing out 250 bhp. This is certainly plenty of power if the car is going to be ultra light; it would be plenty of power if it was not.
As reported in Auto Express, it has now been confirmed that the mighty Renualtsport will be getting hold of the AS1 to create a faster hotter version. Renaultsport not only look after all of Renaults motorsport activity but also work with the main brand to turn some of their normal cars into rather special versions for the road going public to buy. The AS1 will be no different and it will go from 250 bhp to 300 bhp while also shedding a bit of weight. The aim is to do most of the work through working on the ECU (the engine’s computer) but there will also be some bigger wheel arches and wheels, some extra air intakes and better cooling to make sure the more powerful version still handles and runs properly. The Renaultsport AS1 will also have a different front grille and headlights to make sure it looks different enough to be recognised.
Launch Dates and Prices
The AS1 is very likely to be launched in 2016 to a very expectant motoring world. Prices are looking like being around the £50,000 mark, so certainly not cheap but this car will be a full fat sports car and it will have a historic element that should appeal to true car fans. The Renaultsport AS1 will follow afterward the standard version but may not arrive until 2017, the rumour is that it will cost around £5000 more than the normal version which seems very cheap for an extra 50 bhp.
Renault have said that the AS1 is just the start, it will dictate what they do next in terms of other cars. The AS1 will help influence the design and spec of further AS models to come later. It is great to see Alpine and Renault making cars again, there is a lot of history to live up to but it seems they have already exceeded expectations with the AS1.