Renaultsport to tune Alpine sports car to 300bhp-plus

Hot Renault fans will still be sizzling after the Alpine Celebration concept appeared at Le Mans, and then the Goodwood Festival of Speed, both in June. But now it appears the brand could make an even hotter RS version of the near-production model – and our exclusive image shows how it could look.

According to our French sister magazine Auto Plus, the standard Alpine sports car, mooted for release next year, will feature an all-new 1.8-litre turbo petrol engine with around 250bhp. But later on, a racier model, tuned by Renaultsport, could bump that figure up past 300bhp.

While that might not sound like much, Renault promises the focus will be on low weight to worry the likes of Lotus. The extra power will be made possible by tweaks to the ECU and cooling system, with larger air intakes at the front and in the doors.

Other exterior changes will reportedly include swollen rear wheelarches to allow wider tyres to be fitted, boosting grip and stability. Racier alloy wheel designs will also debut, and the front end gets cross-hatched LED lights to distinguish it from the regular car.

Speaking to Auto Express at March’s Geneva Motor Show, Renault vice-president Bruno Ancelin told us the advent of the first model will spawn further Alpine efforts. “We are working on the first car, and out of [that] we are working on the line-up,” he said. “So model number one, which we call the AS1 – Alpine Sport 1 – we need to see further. [Then we’ll] look to the complementary models we will have in the line-up.”

We expect the Renaultsport version in 2017, after the standard Alpine debuts next year. It’s likely to cost at least £55,000; the regular sports car will be around £50,000.

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