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Autocar reports that the suits at Renault are keeping the dream of a true successor to the Alpine alive and well. The pub quotes Laurens van den Acker, the new vice-president of corporate design for Renault, as saying that he believes there's room for an affordable sports car in the company's lineup. There have been several attempts to re-fire the Alpine furnace over the past few years, but each have been cancelled due to various reasons. The 2006 Nepta Concept, pictured above, was one such stil

While it may seem like an inopportune time to exhume a performance marque, that's just what Renault is up to, says Car. According to the U.K. glossy, Renault will relaunch the Gordini brand in Europe next year with a new Twingo variant. You may recall that it was recently revealed that the French automaker's plans to bring back its storied Alpine product line has been axed, but the decades-dormant Gordini is apparently a different matter altogether.

Just like that, it's over. Renault had been working on bringing back the Alpine nameplate with a sports car being co-developed as the Nissan 200SX. But according to Autocar, economic strain has led to the vaporization of both programs, even though development was quite far along. Rumors have been swirling for a long time about the revival of the Alpine offshoot, with a mid-mounted engine driving the rear wheels, or even sharing Nissan's 370Z platform. There seems to be no return to the planning

Click above for a high-res gallery of Marcello Felipe Maggioni's Renault New Alpine

Renault hasn't done much to tap into its Formula One successes, nor has it provided credible competition to the RX-8s and 350Zs of the world. That's all going to change come 2010. Renault is expected to revive the much-loved Alpine name and slap it on the back of two-door coupe powered by a turbocharged engine mounted amidships. AutoExpress has it on good authority that designers are wrapping up the exterior and that a Megane-bodied mule caught testing on the Nurburgring is actually the new Alpi