Geneva '08 Preview: Renault to show new Alpine?

Wildfire rumors that Renault is preparing to launch an unspecified "desirable" concept car at the upcoming Geneva show, alongside the new Koleos crossover, have had fuel added. Patrick Pelata, the French automaker's product planning exec-veep, confirmed that Renault is working on a new sportscar. "Think Mazda MX-5 or even Smart Roadster and you are on the right lines", said Pelata in a recent interview.

If previous reports hold their water, the small roadster will have more content than the previous bare-bones Renault Sport Spider, and could feature a mid-mounted turbocharged engine driving the rear wheels. Reviving the Alpine name, the new model is also expected to be just the first of a new line-up of sportscars that would capitalize on Renault's success in Formula One. Meanwhile marketing chief Stephen Norman revealed that the company is also working on a new flagship sedan positioned above the new Laguna set to target fellow French rivals from PSA Peugeot-Citroen. With just two weeks to go, we'll just have to sit tight and see what Renault has in store for us this year in Switzerland.

[Source: AM Online - free subscription required]

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