Renault chief executive Luca de Meo has long talked about a desire to grow the niche Alpine sportscar and racing division into a full-fledged premium electric brand with a range of models.
He recently expanded on these plans in an interview with Automotive News Europe, explaining his aim to take the company from 2500 annual sales to something closer to 150,000 this decade.
Volvo’s relationship with its (now floated) Polestar brand – which scaled to a 50,000 unit brand last year – was cited as a specific source of inspiration, but there are clear Audi parallels too.
“Expanding the Alpine brand is a 20 years’ journey, as you need two or three generations of models,” de Meo said in an interview with the publication at Renault headquarters in Paris.
Last November Alpine detailed its intended all-electric product rollout beyond its single-model range, comprising the low-volume A110 coupe.
First will come a hot hatch version of the new Renault 5 in 2024, then a small SUV in 2025, a new electric A110 coupe (developed with Lotus) in 2026, a mid-sized SUV in 2027, and a large SUV in 2028.
Alpine will use Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance components such as the CMF EV platforms, but Mr de Meo said the company would prove its premium performance bonafides with plenty of changes.
“It is closer to [business] models such as Polestar, because it’s leveraging a lot of assets but still has unique technological bricks,” de Meo told Automotive News.
The example cited by Mr de Meo was the 2025 C-segment SUV, which will use the same CMF-EV platform as the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric and Nissan Ariya.
“We have changed the rear axle, added active torque vectoring, and use premium chemistry for the battery and a more sophisticated electric motor,” de Meo said, explaining how Alpine would justify its brand position while using shared bits.
Brand-wise, Renault renamed its Formula 1 team Alpine, and this has given the previously little-known marque a massive publicity boost – and may open to door to US and China launches on the back of this, and a potential cash-raising IPO.