Alpine to become a “mini Ferrari”

Alpine will become a core part of the Renault group’s strategy in future, according to new boss Luca de Meo, with a key mission to make electric cars “thrilling and emotional”. The A110 is also set to live on with a number of variants.

Having recently announced that Renualt’s Formula 1 team will be renamed Alpine from next season, de Meo explained: “You had three entities: an F1 team, the Renault Sport engineering unit and a plant in Dieppe that was half-empty where the A110 is produced. Plus a brand like Alpine, which has some cachet and heritage which you can’t buy.

“In a company with strong financial issues [like Renault], the temptation is to say let’s stop this, let’s stop that. But what I saw was the possibility to bring these things together and create – if you’ll allow me the poetic licence – a mini Ferrari, putting Formula 1 at the centre of a business ecosystem and creating a brand which has motorsport, engineering, production and distribution.”

De Meo added that he believes the A110 has a future. “The first thing I want to do is organise its life-cycle management, à la the Porsche 911, so we will have different versions. And maybe turn the car electric if we manage to solve the business case, maybe find a partner for it.

“I will probably find a way, as I did with Cupra, to have contact between Alpine and Renault but we need to be credible with that. Alpine is a great way to project ourselves into the future – one of the missions is to make the electric car experience emotional and thrilling. This is basically the direction.

“For sure, Alpine has a future. It’s not going to be easy but we have very strong ingredients.”

De Meo added that he had given Cyril Abiteboul, Renault’s F1 boss and now overall head of Alpine, the target of breaking even with the performance brand in three to four years.