We Americans are deprived of a handful of fun enthusiasts cars which European drivers get to gleefully hoon about. The Alpine brand has caught our attention lately, since Renault CEO Luca de Meo told reporters last week, according to Automotive News, that he wants Alpine to produce a Ferrari competitor someday. We like the sound of that, even though this mythical car will likely never see roads on this side of the Atlantic. However, we’ve also got an alternative suggestion.
The plan for a Cavallino Rampante competitor makes at least some sense. Back in the 1960s and ’70s, the original A110 put Alpine on the world stage—literally, since the petite racer won the first-ever World Rally Championship, held in 1973. Renault’s capitalizing on this (admittedly long-dormant) motorsports heritage by rebranding its F1 team as Alpine in 2021; the team will swap Renault’s yellow and black for the patriotic French tricolor palette. De Meo hopes that this high-profile racing effort, combined with Alpine’s “quasi-artisan” feel, will give Alpine cachet worth comparing to the storied Italian marque.
De Meo hasn’t released any more specifics on the upcoming model, but we like the thought of Alpine using the new A110 as a base for this Prancing Horse fighter—mainly because the A110 is a relatively cheap $70,000. Even if the priced doubled, this anticipated, high-end Alpine would still be a fraction of the price of the most affordable Ferrari, which rings in over $200,000.
There’s always the possibility that Alpine could go in a totally different direction, of course. Instead of trying to launch the Alpine brand into Ferrari’s orbit, Renault could produce the wildest version of something even more affordable … say, a Kawasaki?
We found a video of this unholy love child while surfing through footage of wild hillclimb cars on a lunch hour. There isn’t much stock Alpine left, but that’s true of most prototype and show cars. Dial back the flares, go with a real interior, and strip the roll cage—but keep the high-strung four-cylinder motorcycle engine for power. Why not? The supercharged 998cc inline-four from the Kawasaki H2 cranks out 228 hp and over 100 pound-feet of torque. That sounds like a fun car, even one saddled with the weight of standard safety equipment.
You’re welcome, Alpine.