Spy Shots

2017 Renault Alpine still looks like a Lotus

  • Image Credit: CarPix
Two years ago, an oddly modified Lotus Exige was photographed speeding around the Nürburgring. While that car looked British, at the time Renault's engineers were reportedly developing the suspension for the future Alpine sports coupe underneath with some help from the folks at Öhlins. Now, our spies have spotted this weird Lotus-bodied mule out testing, and it might be a major hint that development for the reborn French brand is getting serious again.

Unfortunately, it's hard to pull many details about the future Alpine just from this mule. Up front the air extractors are noticeably covered, and at the rear there's now a panel hiding the engine with just some small vents near the very back. The roof-mounted scoop appears to be the major means of sending cool air to the powertrain.

Alpine has been back in the news as of late. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the brand's Celebration Concept was unveiled but without many real details. Then, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the car was filmed actually moving under its own power.

Earlier reports suggest that a production version, possibly called the AS1, might come in 2017 with around 250 horsepower on tap from an engine mounted behind the driver. Engineers would keep weight as low as possible to make the most from that power. While no version in the US is likely, prices in Europe might be about the equivalent of $34,000 to $40,000.

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