Alpine has traveled to this year’s edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans to introduce a brand new concept called Celebration. As its name clearly implies, the Celebration was designed to celebrate the automaker’s 60th birthday.
The Celebration’s design isn’t full-on retro like the Fiat 500 or the MINI Hardtop but it borrows several key styling cues from the iconic A110 that was sold in the 1960s and the 1970s. Notably, the coupe’s front end features a sloping hood accented by three large creases, swept-back headlights and two round fog lights.
Sculpted flanks, a wrap-around rear window and a horizontal tail lamp add a finishing touch to the look. Designers have avoided dabbling in the superfluous: The Celebration features conventionally-opening doors, discreet aerodynamic add-ons and retro-inspired alloy wheels. All told, the minimalist, back-to-the-basic spirit of the original A110 has been retained.
We hope the same applies to the cockpit but Alpine has not published interior pictures. Similarly, the concept is fully functional – it completed a lap of the Le Mans circuit – but Renault has not revealed what it’s powered by.
Alpine is not shy about admitting the Celebration concept is not merely a design study. Like we reported earlier this week, a slightly toned-down version of the concept will become the first mass-produced Alpine of the 21st century.
Official details are few and far between. What we know so far is that Renault formed a joint-venture with Caterham to develop the car but the two partners split up and the French automaker has been developing the Alpine by itself ever since. Even with Caterham out of the picture, the yet-unnamed coupe will remain a lightweight, driver-focused machine – insiders explain it will be closer to a Lotus Elise than to a BMW 6 Series.
Power is expected to come from a mid-mounted turbocharged four-cylinder engine tuned to make 250 horsepower in its most basic state of tune. A six-speed manual transmission will come standard, and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox will likely be available as an option.
We suspect Alpine will present the production version of teh coupe next year at the Geneva Motor Show. If we’re right, look for it to land in showrooms next summer with a base price of about €35,000, a sum that converts to roughly $40,000 / £25,000.