Alpine Vision Gran Turismo is a Voluptuous Voiture [w/ Video]
One of the most egregious shames in the automotive world, in our opinion, is that the French company Alpine (pronounced Al-PEEN, s’il vous plait) doesn’t get more mainstream recognition. Originally started by a Renault dealer 60 years ago, the company built a series of rear- and mid-engine sports cars that had fairly successful careers in circuit racing and rallying. Come 1973, Renault purchased the company and tasked it with creating a turbo-V6-powered sports prototype to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which it did in 1978 with drivers Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jassaud. A series of rear-engine, roadgoing 2+2 sports cars (think brie-and-baguette-flavored Porsche 911s) followed before the brand was retired in 1993.
Lately, though, Renault has been working to resurrect Alpine, and supposedly has a street-legal sports car in the pipeline. Until that debuts, though, we’ll have to be content with the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo, a concept car that’s scheduled to join the Gran Turismo 6 car roster sometime in March. Its low, wind-swept shape recalls Alpine racers of the 1960s, but the 450 horsepower 4.5L V8, 7-speed sequential transmission, pushrod suspension,all-digital instrumentationand rad-as-hell airbrakes (seen above in the deployed position)are grounded firmly in the present and near-future. Oh yes, this car and Circuit de La Sarthe are calling our name…[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1aiu4JWDJg[/youtube]