The Renault Alpine sports car has begun testing, and these spy shots reportedly show an early stage chassis mule wearing a Lotus Exige body.
Caught on the Nurburgring, this prototype was part of a group of test cars including a Renaultsport Clio and a Renaultsport Megane. While there’s no link between Renault and Lotus road cars, the Exige body could be explained by the tie-up between Renaultsport F1 and the Lotus F1 team.
The Renault Alpine is being co-developed with Caterham, who will produce their very own version of the car. We’ve been told in the past that the two different models will get bespoke styling and will feel different in character. Both will be powered by Renault engines.
The Renault-Catheram models will share the same mid-engined, rear-wheel drive layout as the Exige but concrete details on what exactly that engine will be are scarce. Renault boss Carlos Tavares did tell us that a figure of around 280bhp and a kerbweight of less than 1000kgs isn’t too far away.
Both cars will be built at Renault’s factory in Dieppe and are expected to go on sale in 2016. We’re expecting the prices to be around the £50,000 mark.