Renault’s reborn Alpine division has introduced a new concept car called Vision at a private event held in Monaco. Billed as a close-to-production design study, the Vision gives us a preview of what the first series-produced Alpine of the 21st century will look like.
The Vision is a careful evolution of the Celebration concept that was unveiled before last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Finished in glacier white, it gains more realistic-looking lights up front, a new air dam built into the front bumper, less futuristic tail lamps with a X-shaped lighting signature, and a single mid-mounted exhaust outlet in lieu of the Celebration’s twin round units. The coupe is markedly inspired by classic Alpine models like the A110 and the A108, but it’s not full-on retro like the Fiat 500 and the Volkswagen Beetle.
Inside, the Vision is more posh than any road car Alpine has built to date. The two passengers are treated to bucket seats upholstered with quilted leather, and the coupe is equipped all of the niceties motorists expect to find in a modern car including a configurable TFT screen that replaces the traditional analog instrument cluster, a push-button ignition, and a touch screen-based infotainment system.
Technical specifications are vague. All we know is that the Vision is powered by a Renault Sport-designed turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s presumably mounted transversally behind the passenger compartment. The turbo four sends the coupe from zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.5 seconds, a figure that makes it as fast down a drag strip as the new Porsche 718 Boxster S. Alpine’s press shots reveal the Vision is equipped with a push-button automatic transmission controlled by steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, but a six-speed manual unit will also be offered.
The Alpine Vision concept will be toned down a little in the coming months, and the production model is tentatively scheduled to make its public debut in October at the Paris Auto Show. Built in the historic Alpine factory in Dieppe, France, the model — which might wear the A120 moniker — will go on sale in Europe next year and in other global markets shortly after. At this point, it’s too early to tell if the coupe will be offered in the United States.