Sunday 26 September 2010

Renault plans affordable rear-wheel-drive sports car

Renault could have a rear-wheel-drive sports car within its line-up by 2014, providing chairman Laurens van den Acker gets his way.

Van den Acker said he not only thinks Renault should be building a compact, affordable sports car, but also that the chance to make it lies in Renault’s planned alliances.

“Any car maker with a product range as broad as ours should have room for an affordable sports car,” van den Acker said. “The challenge to design a great driver’s car is very exciting. It won’t be easy to make a strong business case, but through Renault’s global alliances, I believe it will be possible.”

Insiders within Renault have confessed that numerous projects have been abandoned to produce a new ‘Renault Alpine’ sports car since 2000. The latest proposal that took its design cues of the 2006 Nepta concept was negated in 2007.

As well-placed internal source suggested that the car considered is a compact, affordable coupé, a nearer counterpart for the Alpine A110 ‘Berlinette’.

Most current platforms Renault-Nissan now have would force Renault to place the engine up-front, however, if Renault were to confer with their new alliance partner Daimler for admission to the next Smart Fortwo’s rear-engined platform, a more faithful successor for the four-cylinder A110 might be possible along the lines of the last Smart Roadster Coupé.

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