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Renault hints at AMG deal on Alpine engines

Engine plan: The first of Renault’s new Alpine sports range, a two-door coupe based on the Vision concept, might get a four-cylinder engine from AMG, according to a British report.

Daimler-Renault collaboration could mean AMG engines for new Alpine range

23 Mar 2016

A RENAULT executive has hinted that Mercedes-AMG engines might power the French company’s new Alpine high-performance car range, that will be rolled out from late this year.

Quoted in British publication Auto Express, Renault executive vice president for product and planning Bruno Ancellin said Renault had two solutions to the question of Alpine powertrains.

“Either we take one that is available in the (Renault-Nissan) Alliance and we fine tune it for more power, or we can buy on the market,” he reportedly said.

“I heard in the presentation of the new DB11 from Aston Martin they are buying their V8s from AMG. That is possible, too.

“We have some co-operation with Daimler. We can buy engines on the market – there is no problem to share that.” In 2012, the two companies announced a joint collaboration to develop a new family of direct-injection, turbo-charged four-cylinder petrol engines to reach showrooms by 2016.

So far, those engines are yet to surface, but it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Alpine might be the recipient of one of them, perhaps fettled by AMG.

The engine development deal is part of Renault-Nissan’s powertrain and platform-sharing deal with Mercedes parent company Daimler.

Examples so far include Nissan luxury brand Infiniti employing diesel engines from Mercedes, while Mercedes is preparing to launch a one-tonne ute based on the Nissan Navara.

Until now, most pundits assumed that the first cab off the Alpine rank – a lightweight mid-engined compact sportscar based on the two-door Vision concept revealed at the recent Geneva motor show – would employ a Renault Sport four-cylinder engine.

Either way, the engine and transmission in the new Alpine coupe will be mounted amidships, behind the seats, driving the rear wheels, in similar fashion to Alfa Romeo’s 4C.

Alpine is also expected to produce a couple of larger models that might call on bigger AMG engines, such as the 270kW 3.0-litre bi-turbo V6 used in the C43 Coupe and C450 AMG sedan.

The alternative could be Nissan’s new 298kW VR38 twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 destined for Infiniti’s Q50 sedan and Q60 sports coupe later this year.

Then, of course, there is AMG’s mighty range of blown V8 and V12 engines that could potentially come into the picture if Alpine builds a large vehicle.

Mr Ancellin also gave Auto Express a hint of what models to expect from Alpine beyond the already-confirmed two-door, two-seat light coupe.

“We could have coupe, cabriolet, we could have a hatchback we could have everything that is usable in a sporty brand,” he said.

Renault announced last month that the Alpine badge would return to showrooms by 2017, with production of the first Alpine vehicle in more than two decades confirmed for Renault Sports’ Dieppe factory in France.

Along with global markets including North America and China, Alpine is expected to go on sale in Australia, although official confirmation is yet to be made.

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