French sports car maker Alpine will become an EV brand and has the full support of Renault CEO Luca de Meo.
Renault announced plans last year to make Alpine an EV brand within the next few years. Earlier this week, the French automaker announced it is rebranding Renault Sport with Alpine Cars. This means high-performance Renault models will soon bear the Alpine name. The EV models will follow.
Details of the lineup roll-out have yet to be released, but earlier this year, Alpine and Lotus announced that the two companies are teaming up to develop an all-electric successor to the Alpine A110 sports car.
De Meo lead Spanish automaker Seat for four years before joining Renault in 2020. In 2018, he made Cupra a standalone brand. Cupra currently has four models: Formentor, Leon, Leon Sportstourer, and Ateca.
Although, unlike Cupra, de Meo says Alpine will not become a premium brand. He said:
“I don't like to use the word premium at Renault, because I've been working for a premium brand, and I know how difficult it is to create a premium brand from scratch. It's not only about doing good cars, it's about everything: technology, distribution, reputation in different segments, residual values etc.”
Many believe EVs lack a “soul” or “emotion,” but de Meo says his Alpine cars won't:
“We will turn Alpine into a pure-electric brand to demonstrate that emotional electric cars are possible. And if you're able to do emotional cars, then people are normally ready to pay. That's the idea.”
De Meo says the upcoming Alpine EV platforms will be in-house or developed with another automaker.
The Renault CEO has big aspirations for Alpine’s upcoming EV: