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Christopher Bruce2012-08-20 16:53:09

Lotus May Build Alpine A110-50 and Infiniti Emerg-E

The A110-50 Concept used a Renault V6, but the production version could be a hybrid

Since firing CEO Dany Behar and canceling planned future models, LotusLotusLotusUnited Kingdom, 1952 > present68 models
956 photos
7 videos
has been struggling to find a future for itself. One possibility may be to build sports cars under contract for larger brands. Both InfinitiInfinitiInfinitiJapan, 1989 > present31 models
998 photos
5 videos
have hinted that they want to build the car in England and may be looking for help. 

The Emerg-EEmerg-eInfiniti Emerg-eJapan, 2012 > 201212 photos
is a hybrid sports car, and the Alpine A110-50Alpine A110-50Renault Alpine A110-50France, 2012 > 20128 photos
2 videos
uses a Renault V6 but would possibly be a hybrid when its built. 

Alpine was founded in 1955 by Jean Rédélé, and the first model, the A106, was based on the Renault 4CV chassis. Later models, in particular the A 110, achieved great success in rallies and by 1968 the company had virtually become Renault's motorsport-division. But as the oil crisis pushed down demand for thirsty sports cars, Alpine had to be resuced by Renault. The company never recovered entirely and in 1994 the Alpine badge ceased to exist.

Alpine A106

In 1954, Jean Rédélé and his friend Louis Pons achieve a victory at the Coupe des Alpes with a tuned 4CV. In memory of this event he chooses the name "Société des Automobiles Alpine" for his new founded company with which he develops cars on his own. He starts off with the Alpine A 106, which is a show stopper at the Paris Salon in 1954. The designation A 106 is derived from Renault's engine designation system.

Alpine A108

The A 108 is introduced in 1958 as convertible, in 1959 follows a version with fixed hardtop. It is based on the Renault Dauphine. The A 108 Berlinette Tour de France of 1960 is, with its low weight of just 530 kg, the ideal car for racing and rallies. It not only wins numerous trophies, it also provides the DNA for the legendary A 110 model that comes up next in the Alpine pedigree.

Alpine A110

In 1962, the Paris audience sees for the first time the new Alpine A 110. It uses many componets of the R8. With its extremely flat body design and lightweight construction, the A 110 becomes an icon on the rally tracks. With success, the cooperation between Alpine and Renault intensifies, Alpine models are now sold by Renault traders and the small manufacturer becomes the official Renault rally works team.

Alpine A310

But in the 1970s the tides turn. The Alpine A 310 model is introduced at the Geneva Show 1971. Alpine had spend its entire budget on the development of a replacement for the A 110, but the debut timing couldn’t be worse. With the petrol crisis hitting the car markets in 1973, the demand for sports cars is very low and Renault eventually steps in to take over its struggeling junior-partner.

Renault Alpine GT

As Renault aquires Alpine in 1973, its influence over the development of Alpine sports cars increases. The result is on display at the Geneva Motor Show in early 1985: the Alpine GT.
The V6 unit now provides 116 kW/158 hp and at 235 km/h, the Alpine GT is the fastest car from the Renault Group. For the first time, Renault is the official manufacturer of an Alpine sports car.
 

Renault 5 Alpine

The acquisition of Alpine also broadens Renault's possibilities when it comes to modifications of street cars. By the end of 1975 arrives the Renault 5 Alpine with 93 hp. Built from tuned Renault components, the tiny car accelerates in ten seconds to 100 km/h and with a weight of just 840 kg, its top speed stands at 173 km/h. Within just seven years, more than 70.000 the Renault 5 Alpines find their buyers.

Renault Alpine A 610

The last Alpine model produced is the A 610. When Renault decides to abandon the Alpine badge in 1994, 849 units of the model have been build. The A 610 was only available with a turbo engine that delivered 250hp and accelerated the car to a maximum 265 km/h. With the A 610 ends the Alpine-era at Renault. Today, the Alpine factory in Dieppe is used to produce Renault models.  

Renault Alpine A110-50

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Alpine A110 in 2012, Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker created a concept for a modern Alpine. The Alpine A110-50 takes its styling from the Renault Dezir concept car. Van den Acker reworked the front end to look more like the classic Alpine A110 including LED fog lights that evoke the original car.

Renault said that if it decides to bring Alpine back that it, “probably needs more than the Renault-Nissan Alliance on its own."

One hint to the future is that the Emerg-E powertrain is being developed using a Lotus Evora. Lotus experimented with a hybrid in the past with the 414EEvora 414E HybridLotus Evora 414E HybridUnited Kingdom, 2010 > 20102 photos
concept.

If Infiniti is looking for help on the car, there are plenty of worse companies than Lotus. 

Source: Autocar

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