Renault Alpine A110

Love it or hate it, the automotive industry of today is not lacking for its exercises in reviving old nameplates. The trend ranges from Mini to Maybach, from Dodge Dart to Dodge Challenger. And the French are certainly not immune. Citroën revived its fabled DS moniker for a range of premium hatchbacks, and Renault – most of all – has been mulling bringing back the Alpine for years now.

Arguably just as central to Renault's performance heritage as the recently revived Gordini line, Alpine made mid-engined sportscars with Renault mechanicals starting in the 1950s and discontinued four decades later. Its most famous model, however, was the A110 (pictured above), which is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. And if a new report from Autocar is accurate, Renault has no intention of letting the occasion slip by unnoticed.

In fact, the French automaker is reportedly planning an Alpine concept car to unveil at the Paris Motor Show next fall. But the question remains whether there's any production potential with such a concept. The French are known for producing some rather intriguing show cars – sportscars in particular – that never seem to get very far from the show stand, from the GTbyCitroën to the Renault DeZir.

Whether Renault can make the business case – without the North American market, at that – to take on the sports car establishment remains to be seen, but having the Nissan product bin to raid certainly couldn't hurt.