We earlier reported that Renault's revival of the Alpine name would take four years. But Stephen Norman, head of marketing for Renault, says to expect the first new Alpine sometime before the end of 2015.

Norman also tells Autocar that the Alpine jointly developed with Caterham "won't be more hardcore than a Mazda MX-5." He went on to say we should expect a competitor for the Porsche Boxster and high-performance Audi TTS. "You can't betray the DNA of Alpine," Norman says. "That's a third of what the car will be."

But the executive also says its DNA is certainly French, "It must be light and look different, and have a touch of French Dash. It's not a car for dandies, though." Norman says the target buyer is either French or a Francophile.

The French-styled, Miata-like, Boxter competitor is expected to have a price tag around £50,000 and is predicted to have a 250-horsepower Renault engine.