Alpine targets Lotus with two large luxury sports cars

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Alpine confirms it will launch two new sports cars in 2026 that target the new Lotus Eletre and Type 133.

Renault performance brand Alpine will introduce two new large sporting EVs as part of a drive to capture market share outside of Europe.

The Renault-owned marque, which is on track to go all-electric by 2026, has already confirmed that a new-generation A110 sports coupe, a Renault 5-based hot hatchback and a rakish-roofed sporting crossover will arrive by 2026, and has now confirmed that it will then launch EVs in the D and E segments.

These two cars, the shapes and positioning of which have not been confirmed, will be crucial in establishing Alpine as a significant player in markets outside of Europe.

In a wide-reaching update of the Renault Group’s transformation strategy, CEO Luca de Meo today confirmed that Alpine will target massive expansion outside of Europe, most notably with potential entries into North America and China.

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Larger – and no doubt more luxury-focused – sports cars will be crucial to attracting a market share in these markets, where such models have helped established European marques capture and maintain market share in recent years.

New markets will account for an expected half of Alpine’s growth by 2030, the brand says, though it has yet to confirm any specific production or revenue targets. Some 15 per cent of its sales will be made in markets outside Europe by 2030, it estimates.

Currently, says de Meo, Alpine’s production facility in Dieppe, northern France, is “flat out” meeting capacity for today’s petrol-powered A110. The site will be configured to build the upcoming GT X-Over SUV from 2025, but it has yet to be confirmed whether it will build the newly confirmed D- and E-segment models.

No doubt the two new cars will use a variation of the Renault Group’s CMF-EV architecture, as pioneered by the Renault Mégane E-Tech and Nissan Ariya, albeit with extensive reworkings made in line with an enhanced focus on performance, luxury and dynamic credentials.

Details will not be confirmed for some time, but it is likely that the duo will use the new 200kW EV motor entering production at Renault’s Cléon factory in 2027 – perhaps even with one on each axle for four-wheel drive and a power output comparable to dedicated performance EVs from Porsche and Lotus.

It seems Alpine is following a similar strategy to its Hethel-based rival – and technical partner – with a dual focus on dedicated electric sports cars (the upcoming A110 EV) and more luxury- or ‘lifestyle’-focused EVs, which will help it maintain an enthusiastic fanbase while targeting higher volumes in global markets.

It is possible that the Alpine D-segment EV will rival the upcoming Lotus Type 133 sports saloon, and the E-segment will go up against the Eletre SUV. As with Lotus, Alpine is keen to emphasise that its ‘racing pedigree’ will continue to play a role in product development, irrespective of market segment.

Notably, both firms are also working on electric successors to their flagship two-seat sports cars and dynamically focused compact crossovers.

It remains to be seen exactly how closely the Lotus Type 136 and Alpine A110 EV will be related. The firms have agreed to work together on the development of key chassis components, but it is not known if the two cars will share batteries, motors and other structural elements.

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