In addition to launching an extremely interesting electric hatchback 5 concept on Thursday morning, Renault announced a partnership with Lotus, well, a few, through its Alpine sub-brand. There are not many details about the joint venture, but the French and British automakers signed a memorandum of understanding to “study several areas of cooperation, including joint development of the EV sports car.” This is certainly interesting, although there is still very little information available.
In addition to potentially developing an electric sports car jointly, the collaboration will also “leverage Alpine’s motorsport platform, enduring from Formula One to Formula E”. Apparently, Renaultsport ran a Formula E winning schedule from the first season until the unit was renamed the Nissan E before the 2018–19 season. Dam not transported. Alpine will also handle the Renault Formula One team this year, in addition to starting the one-year LMP1 program, which will handle the abandoned rebellion team.
Nissan has already confirmed their belief in Formula E and Motorsport is unlikely to put that hand aside, so the E Dums team is unlikely to return to the French side of the paddock. However, with recent announcements that BMW and Audi will abandon the FE, this opens an opportunity on the grid for Alpine / Lotus to join Andrati or purchase Audisport’s abandoned charter.
If it were not for Formula E, this could be an opportunity for Alpine to expand its sports car racing efforts, as its rebellion-based 2021 FIA WEC attack was no longer eligible for competition. Working together to build a prototype of the LMDH class to face Le Mans and Daytona could be another success. While not fully electric, the hybrid drag-and-run model can take advantage of Lotus and Alpine.
For a jointly developed sports car for the roads, I expect it to be more affordable, lighter and fun than the 2,000 horsepower $ 2,000,000 Lotus Evija, although it is slightly more enjoyable and sporty than the Renault Zoe. Hell, I’d be perfectly happy with a Zoe-based hot hatch with twice the power and the same range from Alpine. Oh, is that so! What if Alpine took the Renault 5 concept and created a modern electric version of the R5 Turbo 2? It would be excellent.
Obviously, there is great potential for these two giants to collaborate. The Alpine F1 team was for some time a Lotus F1, so the two brands were created to collaborate, right?