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Renault teases Alpine sportscar – virtually

Game species: Elements of this fantastical virtual racer will make it to Renault's production sportscar next year, but which bits?

Alpine Vision Gran Turismo hints at Renault road car


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29 Jan 2015

RENAULT has offered a glimpse of its forthcoming Alpine sportscar with some of the production model's “ingredients” featuring in a new virtual world vehicle that celebrates 60 years since the original.

Gamers updating their version of the Gran Turismo 6 driving simulator in the next few days will notice the radical new Renault up for grabs in the online showroom.

While the Renault Alpine Vision Gran Turismo is confined to a computer game at this stage, in a short video showcasing the car, Renault design director Antony Villain said the virtual vehicle carried some of styling features of a tangible car due next year.

“We added, and this is a surprise, some ingredients from our future Alpine, which will be released in 2016,” he said.

The design chief did not pinpoint which of the single-seat racer's components would make it to the road-going Alpine but similarities to the French car-maker's previous concepts may offer a clue.

At the front end, its V-shaped bonnet and circular driving lights honour the nose and supplimentary driving lamps of the 1960s A110 Alpine, while at the back its long finned tail nods to the Le Mans racing version of the same decade.

A front splitter guides air through massive vents and along either side of the car and on to even larger rear vents in which the slender pushrod double wishbone rear suspension arms can be seen.

Weight is kept to a feather-like 900kg thanks to a carbon-fibre monocoque, enabling the 336kW/580Nm 4.5-litre V8 to push the Alpine to a top speed of 320km/h. Renault has not specified acceleration figures, but 100km/h should be possible in about 2.5 seconds.

Power is sent to the virtual road via the rear wheels and a seven-speed sequential gearbox.

Unlike cars destined for the road, the back end styling of the Alpine was given particular attention as it is the aspect most commonly seen in a racing game environment. A large whale tail-like spoiler was avoided in favour of more subtle aerodynamics incorporated into the long overhanging rear valences.

The racer has room for just one occupant, and the single-seat right-hand drive layout is common to prototype racers running on clockwise circuits such as the Le Mans 24 hour.

Peering through the single butterfly-opening door reveals extensive use of carbon-fibre, a blue thread quilted leather racing seat with five point orange harness and a heavily stylised rectangular steering wheel.

The Alpine has no gauges, with information and vital signs relayed to the driver via a head-up display. External rear-view mirrors are replaced by a rear facing camera.

Deep-dished eight-spoke wheels hint at the rims fitted to the A110, revealing large six-piston callipers that match the Renault Alpine A450 orange and blue – one of three paint options.

At high-speed, braking is supplemented by drag-generating air-brakes that open from the rear flanks, scrubbing pace without overloading the four large disc brakes and cleverly reveal another set of brake lights.

For those fans not satisfied with a pixelated look at the car, Renault has rolled out a full-scale model of the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo at the 2015 Festival Automobile International in Paris.

The creators of the Sony Playstation game Polyphony Digital offered the Vision Gran Turismo concept as a platform for car-makers to design their most outrageous vehicles without having to adhere to the limits of real-world car design.

Since the software giant laid down the challenge, many of the world's major manufacturers have released their interpretations in the game along with representations of their production models.

To date, Infiniti, Aston Martin, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes and Toyota have all submitted radical models to the Vision Gran Turismo forum.

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