The rebirth of the Alpine brand is going to have to stay in the womb a little longer, it appears. Autocar learned that Renault's styling mockup was secretly shown to possible clients recently, and the feedback was tepid enough for the French company to send the design back to the drawing board. The delay will likely push the sports car back to a 2016 launch.
The setback is partly due to the car being a joint venture between Caterham and Renault. When Alpine was reformed last year, the two companies agreed that each would build their own version of the sports coupe from shared mechanical parts, including a Renault engine, but two different exterior designs.
While the two designs are independent, if Renault changes any of the body mounting points, then Caterham's body also needs a redesign. Also, the deal stipulates that both cars have to be ready before they can go on sale. The Alpine is rumored to have about 250 horsepower, while the Caterham may have power closer to 300 hp, according to Autocar. We spotted a test mule under the skin of a Lotus Exige with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine last summer.
Renault first revived interest in the Alpine brand when it unveiled the A110-50 concept (pictured above) in 2012. Its design modernized the brand's classic looks for its 50th anniversary. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be another few years before a true new Alpine hits the roads.