• Mar 25th 2011 at 9:01AM
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Renault DeZir Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Most European automakers have their own dedicated performance division. What separates a line within the automaker's range from a stand-alone brand, however, is the production of its own unique models. AMG, for example, straddled the divide with the SLS, which doesn't exist as a non-AMG version, but is still labeled as a Mercedes-Benz. BMW's M division, on the other hand, only produces tweaked versions of the company's regular production models. Abarth has long been rumored to get its own roadster model, separate from Fiat's range. But if the latest reports from across the pond prove accurate, Renaultsport could beat them to the punch.

Renault had been toying with the idea of reviving the old Alpine name with a dedicated sportscar, but word is that those plans have been scrapped in favor of a Renaultsport roadster. The French automaker's motorsport and tuning division (ironically based at the old Alpine factory) is well known for its hot hatches, and previously produced the Spider as its own model some 15 years ago.

Rumor has it that the Renaultsport Spider's successor could essentially be a production version of the DeZir concept (pictured above) that previewed Renault's new design language last year at the Paris salon. It may be too early to tell if the production version would retain the concept's electric drivetrain or go with one of the tuned gasoline or diesel engines from one of the division's existing models, but a limited production run could be in the cards, and could lead to one or two more dedicated Renaultsport models as well. For our part, we can only hope the plans come to fruition, and that maybe a Nissan version might make it to these shores as well.

[Source: Autocar]

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