History of the Alpine Brand - 2 From Alpine to Alpine Renault

History of the Alpine Brand - 2 From Alpine to Alpine Renault

08.03.2021: IV. FROM ALPINE TO ALPINE RENAULT Alpine’s burgeoning success, spawned by the Berlinette A110, forced Jean Rédélé to create a second production unit in Thiron-Gardais. Jean Rédélé found himself faced with an increase in Berlinette


IV. FROM ALPINE TO ALPINE RENAULT

 

Alpine’s burgeoning success, spawned by the Berlinette A110, forced Jean Rédélé to create a second production unit in Thiron-Gardais.


Jean Rédélé found himself faced with an increase in Berlinette orders that his avenue Pasteur workshop was unable to handle. The upshot was that the factory in Thiron-Gardais began to produce assembled chassis and car bodies, painted and marked ‘A110’ before being transferred by truck to Dieppe where the mechanical elements were added. Led by a colleague in Dieppe, Daniel Vue, this unit was operational until it was taken over by Renault.



At the same time as this increase in production capacity, Jean Rédélé had imagined a completely new car: the A310, presented at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. This car, designed by Jean Rédélé himself, was intended to establish the brand in the arena of sports cars and grand touring vehicles. Maintaining the traditional 2.27-metre wheelbase (as on the Porsche 911), this car was a success of aesthetical balance, and Jean Rédélé founded a new factory especially for it, on avenue de Bréauté, Dieppe.


The A310 and the new Dieppe factory, however, would become victims of the fuel crisis of 1973 and suffered a significant drop in sales.


That said, the A310 underwent regular evolutions and found its customer base. After the four-cylinder, 140hp, 1605cc engine of 1971, fuel injection was added in 1974, and then, from September 1976, it was equipped with the V6, 150hp, 2700cc powerplant taken from the Renault 30 TS.



In 1981, it gained the rear end of the new Renault 5 Turbo. After more than 11,600 units had been produced (2,340 of the four-cylinder version and 9,287 of the V6 version), the A310 gracefully bowed out to make way for the new GTA in 1985.


In the meantime, the Renault 5 Alpine had been successfully launched. Some 56,000 units of the naturally-aspirated version were produced between 1976 and 1980, followed by 23,000 turbo models from 1981 to 1984.



The new GTA (Grand Tourisme Alpine) was very innovative in its production process. This technique enabled the polyester body to be ‘bonded’ to the chassis, thereby endowing the car with exceptional rigidity.


Beyond that key technological innovation, the car featured a record low drag coefficient (CdA), plus fuel-efficient performance in absolute comfort. Initially equipped with a 2849cc engine producing 160hp, the GTA hit a top speed of more than 230kph. Several months later, a turbo version appeared on the market. It boasted 200hp and enabled the GTA – the fastest French car in production – to be labelled by the press a ‘fighter jet for the road’.


The car gave birth to two rare versions. First, there was the ‘Europa Cup’ (not approved for road use), which competed in ‘curtain-raiser’ races at Formula 1 Grands Prix between 1985 and 1988 (69 examples produced). Then, there was the ‘US’ version with retractable headlights, designed for export to the USA as part of a commercial and industrial agreement with ‘American Motors’, an American subsidiary of Renault.


In 1989, the ‘Mille Miles’ version – in recognition of Jean Rédélé’s earliest victorious Alpines – was offered as a numbered limited edition (100 examples). Then, in 1990, the ‘Le Mans’ version – another tribute, this time to Alpine’s triumphs in Le Mans 24 Hours – appeared with a more environmentally-friendly V6 Turbo engine.


In 1990, the A610 was made available to European sporting clients with a 2963cc turbo engine. An excellent touring car, it benefitted from dynamic performance worthy of praise and was received in just such a manner by a unanimous press. However, it struggled slightly to find its niche market. Despite the special ‘Magny-Cours’ edition, it disappeared from the range at the end of 1995 following the production of 818 units.


Jean Rédélé always kept his faith in Renault. Thanks to this close relationship, the cars produced in Dieppe were called Alpine Renaults from the end of 1967 when Jean Rédélé’s brand was tasked with officially representing Renault in motorsport.


From that point on, Alpine cars sported the Renault diamond on their bonnet, and the economic links between the two companies became increasingly close. Finally, in 1973, those links were materialised when Renault acquired a 70 per cent majority share in Alpine. Henceforth, ‘Nouvelle Société Alpine’ was run as a public limited company with a board of directors and a supervisory board.




V. AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TOWARDS EXPORTS




After two efforts in the USA and then in Belgium – where several ‘Coach’ models were assembled in Herstal – Jean Rédélé decided to ramp things up a notch.


He understood that the future would be about internationalisation and was conscious that his business – not yet supported or relied upon by the powerful Renault management – didn’t have the financial means to create and develop an export network with ‘official importers’. Rather than exporting, therefore, he proposed an industrial project to his partners.


The first target was Brazil, and an agreement was quickly reached with Willys-Overland do Brasil, who already produced Dauphines under a Renault licence. From 1960, A108 Berlinettes, coupés and convertibles built using equipment from Dieppe left workshops in Sao Paulo under the name ‘Interlagos’, after the famous Brazilian motor racing circuit there. The contract lasted for six years and allowed for the production of more than a thousand sports cars.


The second country targeted was Spain. Jean Rédélé made contact with FASA (Fabricación de Automóviles Sociedad Anónima), a motoring organisation that similarly produced Dauphines under licence in Spain. Almost two thousand Alpine FASAs were produced in Valladolid from 1964 to 1978.



Buoyed by these successes, Jean Rédélé then approached the Mexican company, Dina, which had also just signed a contract with Renault to produce the Renault 8. Thus, from 1963, the Dinalpin was produced in the suburbs of Mexico City. The collaboration ended in 1971 after 700 cars had been produced.



One final attempt – this time at Renault's request – took place in Bulgaria. Renault 8s were produced in a factory in Plovdiv, which Renault owned in partnership with the Bulgarian government. Certain Bulgarian leaders desired a national sports car, and from that desire was born the Bulgaralpine, of which around 50 units were produced in the late 1960s.


In every country in which they were produced, Alpines raced and won in the hands of champions of the calibre of Emerson Fittipaldi (driving an Interlagos), who would go on to win the F1 World Champion title and the Indy 500, future World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz (Alpine FASA), the East European Champion Ilia Tchubrikov (Bulgaralpine), etc.



- Christophe Deville - photos Groupe Renault Communication

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/history-alpine-brand-to-renault---220137.html

08.03.2021 / MaP

More News

History of the Alpine Brand - 1
08.03.2021
Alpine is the story of a brand, but it is also the story of men before being, tomorrow, the story of a renewal.I. A RENAULT ‘FAMILY’Jean Réd&eac more >>
Precise data for greater safety: Audi warns its drivers about slippery roads
08.03.2021
Swarm data improve car-to-X service “local hazard alerts”        Around 1.7 million cars in the Group make up the swarm intelligence        New procedure detects minute changes in the coefficients of friction        Joint development between Audi a more >>
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport shows its prowess in epic adventure
08.03.2021
•    Mitsubishi Motors SA Pajero Ambassador takes Pajero Sport on epic adventure to the “Land of Legends”•    Pajero Sport hosts convoy of 14 4x4s in Venda’s Secret Forest•    Off-road legend Francois Rossouw impressed by performance in the rough more >>
Kia Motors America teases refreshed 2022 Stinger
08.03.2021
  In 2017, the Stinger redefined the Kia brand and took on some of the best sport sedans in the world – and won. For 2022, the Stinger has evolved into something even greater. With more power, more technology and a refined design, t more >>
New Opel Mokka with IntelliLux LED® Matrix Light
08.03.2021
    Typically Opel: Class leading, glare-free IntelliLux LED® matrix light       Great looks: Ultra-slim headlamps integrated in new Opel Vizor brand face    Top technolog more >>
Project Trinity: With high range, extremely short charging times and revolutionary production
06.03.2021
... the sedan will launch     Trinity becomes the focal point of the ACCELERATE strategy    New standards in range, charging speed and digitalisation    Business model 2.0 i more >>
HQ of motorsport world champions Cyan Racing nominated to Swedish architecture prize
06.03.2021
The headquarters of Cyan Racing, the reigning multiple touring car racing world champions, has been nominated to the Swedish architecture prize "The Gold Chair" and reached the final round of the vote."We are thrilled to have the Cyan HQ nominated for the Gold Chair," s more >>
McLaren Automotive scientist crowned Young Woman Engineer of the Year
05.03.2021
McLaren Automotive scientist and engineer Ella Podmore has been crowned the Young Woman Engineer of the Year by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).The prestigious IET industry more >>
With the MINI Cooper 3-door through Hamburg's bustling life
05.03.2021
The hustle and bustle begins earliest on almost every day in the port of Hamburg. It is the gateway to the world, as the people of Hamburg say. Indeed, shipping routes connect the Hanseatic city with more than 900 ports in a good 170 countries around the globe. more >>
Bespoke Bentaygas – New options via Mulliner Personal Commissioning Guide
05.03.2021
    Mulliner’s Personal Commissioning Guide now includes the new Bentayga, completing the bespoke offering for the entire model range       Custom interior features include hide and stitching option more >>
Five surprising facts about the new Lamborghini Huracán STO
04.03.2021
The latest Lamborghini to be announced, with deliveries starting later in 2021, is the Huracán STO (Super Trofeo Omologata), a road-homologated super sports car inspired by Lamborghini race cars: the Huracán EVO Super Trofeo developed by Lamborghini Squadra Corsa for Lam more >>
RPM: What if emotions were forbidden?
04.03.2021
    This is the premise of the series in development “RPM”, co-produced by CUPRA with Vince Gerardis, co-executive producer of Game of Thrones, Infinito Studios and Startling Media    Set in the year 2101 and created by Albert Uría, the sci-fi series showcases a society where emotions are forbidden and a group of r more >>
Interior sketch offers first preview of the SKODA KUSHAQ
04.03.2021
- The new ŠKODA KUSHAQ’s premiere will take place on 18 March 2021ŠKODA provides a first glimpse of the new KUSHAQ’s interior in an official design sketch. As with other models from the Czech car manufacturer, t more >>
Most popular Ford models add protection for owners in fight against vehicle theft
04.03.2021
    Ford models with the fastest growing sales – Puma and Kuga – now also come with keyless entry fobs with sleep mode as standard to protect against being hacked    All-electric more >>
Bentley partners with Cheshire Community Foundation to launch Covid impact fund
04.03.2021
    Bentley is working with Cheshire Community Foundation (CCF) to launch a Covid impact fund focusing on community projects in the Crewe area    The fund will be open to not-for-profit organisations running projects to tackle food poverty; mental health and wellbeing; debt relief and financial education  more >>
Bulli: Cult VW available for first time as PLAYMOBIL miniature
04.03.2021
    Mini Bulli wows fans    ‘Henrik the Red’: 1962 T1 was template for the model    Original can be hired from VWNOFor the first time ever, a VW Bulli is now al more >>
Kia K8 interior – modernity and technology meet in a luxury sports sedan
04.03.2021
    K8 interior brings together high-end luxury and sumptuous comfort in a detail-oriented lounge    State-of-the-art tech ensures the K8 interior is a progressive and modern space    Large contemporary panoramic curved display brings cutting-edge infotainment functionality &nbs more >>
Kia Announces 2021 Niro Hybrid and PHEV Model Changes
04.03.2021
Kia’s award-winning Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid crossovers enter the 2021 model year with improvements in technology and enhanced customer convenience.   The Niro Hybrid LX continues into the new model year with its 50-MPG1 combined EPA fue more >>
Williams Advanced Engineering partners with Fortescue to develop battery electric haul truck
03.03.2021
    Williams Advanced Engineering is partnering with Fortescue Metals Group to create a new battery electric haul truck for use in mining    Project includes the design and construction of a bespoke battery electric powertrain for use in 240-tonne prototype more >>
Opel Zafira Life Now Available as Crosscamp Lite
03.03.2021
    Versatile: Camper with up to seven seats and sleeping for four    Flexible: Well equipped with variable storage    Expansion: New Crosscamp Lite joins Crosscamp Flex  more >>
Opel Mokka Now at Dealerships - ready to go
02.03.2021
    Available now: Following successful order intake, new Mokka arrives in dealer network    Make a date: See Mokka and Mokka-e live and take a test drive at Opel dealers    Guaranteed to turn heads: Stylish Mokka accessories  more >>
The alliance for secure and cross-company data exchange in the automotive industry is picking up speed
02.03.2021
The automotive industry is shaping the digital transformation”) hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) the founders of the Automotive Alliance are sharing a progress report as well as further details on the initiative. The founders of the partner network include BMW AG, Deutsche Telekom AG, Ro more >>
Introducing the Limited Edition Jeep® Wrangler 1941
02.03.2021
    Most capable Wrangler to hit UK roads pays homage to 80 years of Jeep history    Limited to just 41 models in the UK    Available to order now, priced from £58,050 OTRAs p more >>
DEFRA to grow its fleet of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Commercial vehicles to 96
02.03.2021
    Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) increases its Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV order to 96 vehicles    With official WLTP emissions of 46g/km and an EV range of 28 miles the Outlander PHEV can significantly lower business’ carbon footprint    The Outlander PHEV has a tota more >>
Vauxhall launches new 14 Day Return Guarantee on cars bought via its Online Store
02.03.2021
    14 Day Return Guarantee applies to all vehicles bought via Online Store*    Buyers have two weeks to decide if the car is right for them    All online orders also receive free insurance for the first year**    Online Store gives access to savings of up to £5,000 across the mod more >>
GEM expresses concern over Britain’s drug drivers
02.03.2021
    Safety group comments on findings from new report published todayROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is raising concerns about drug driving across the UK. In particular, GEM is worried about inconsistencies in sentenci more >>
Car and Driver editors give Kia a “High Five”
01.03.2021
    Telluride, Sorento, Soul, K5 and Rio all named “2021 Editors’ Choice Award” winners, selected from more than 400 models tested    Kia once again captures new accolades for performance and value across the lineup more >>
SKODA AUTO produces two millionth SUV
01.03.2021
The two millionth sports utility vehicle (SUV) rolled off the production line at ŠKODA AUTO's main plant in Mladá Boleslav today.   The milestone vehicle was also the 250,000th ŠKODA KAMIQ. more >>
Kia Motors America announces pricing of the all−new 2022 Carnival MPV
01.03.2021
Tremendous value is represented across the entire line    Carnival MPV starts at $32,100    More powerful 3.5-liter V6, delivering best-in-class 290 horsepower    Multi-seating config more >>
On the road with the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 at the Arctic Circle
01.03.2021
Three-country tour in northern Europe: After a journey of discovery through deep snow-covered forests, it is precisely the silence of the vast landscape that makes a tour at the Arctic Circle so appealing. One of the most beautiful ro more >>
Retaining the suspension’s “intelligence” with BILSTEIN
01.03.2021
Watch for DampMatic® technology when replacing shock absorbers on a Mercedes   For more than a decade, many entry-level Mercedes-Benz models have been equipped with “intelligent suspension” based on a more >>
Adapting to crisis: How new technology helped SYNETIQ keep moving
01.03.2021
    SYNETIQ reflects on the way its IT team implemented four new improvements to the way it serves customers    Four new technological developments introduced – Web Chat, Collection Slots, Open Payments & Microsoft Teams    IT Director Dave Harcourt praises his team for outstanding speed and more >>
SEAT S.A. offers its health resources to vaccinate the population against COVID-19
26.02.2021
    The company and the Catalan Government reach an agreement whereby the carmaker will help the public health service with the vaccination process of the population in its area, once the availability of vaccines has been increased    SEAT S.A. will open one of its buildings, with its own health staff, as a vaccination centre, and wi more >>
Ford Everest is a Partner for Life – Six Features to Make You Fall in Love!
26.02.2021
•    Ford’s premium SUV shows off its gentle side and tough side this month of love •    The Ford Everest is assembled at Ford South Africa’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria•    Everest range was recently expanded with new performance and specification more >>
Scotland sets route for world-class road safety by 2030, with IAM RoadSmart supportiam
26.02.2021
The Scottish Road Safety Framework announced today, with input from IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, has set the goal of having the best road safety performance in the world by 2030.Central to the road s more >>
Polestar 2 brings latest software updates to owners over-the-air
26.02.2021
    Remote updates upgrade vehicle with latest software and features; eliminate need to download during workshop visits    New safety feature, Android Automotive OS upgrade, range improvements and safety-related propulsion bug fix all part of the latest update    Constant development allows all more >>
SMMT statement on E10 petrol announcement
26.02.2021
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “ The announcement today confirming E10 petrol will be available for motorists from this September is another step towards the 2050 net zero target. Its introduction is significant in that it assists with the decarbonisation of the existing UK car parc as well as those new cars powered by petrol engines. more >>
Volkswagen Group is officially reinstated as a participant of the UN Global Compact
26.02.2021
    Five years after the diesel emission crisis, the United Nations Global Compact has resolved to reinstate the Volkswagen Group    The main deciding factor was the successful completion of the US monitorship    Georg Kell, founding Executive Director of the UN Global Compact and spokesperson for the Volks more >>
Women's World Car of the Year announces 2021 category winners
26.02.2021
The jury of the Women's World Car of the Year is pleased to announce the winners in each of nine categories. These vehicles represent excellence in their segments based on safety, comfort, technology, and value for the money.This is more >>
2001-2021 copyright automobilsport.com