Renault may still revive its sporty Alpine brand despite the current economic climate, but the numbers will have to add up.
Marketing director Stephen Norman said it would be a lightweight, high performance sports car and “made to the highest specification. We can’t come out with something that has wind-up windows and rubber mats”.
Renault would not do such a car on its own and maybe even with more partners than Nissan because of the expense of the project.
“We can’t lift things from the parts bin, we have to make a business case for it and we have not yet done that.”
Norman also promised “something totally unexpected” when the new Twingo is launched around 2014.
“Current Twingo will be followed by a car we are working on with Daimler and we will take a different direction, closer to the original model, and it will have something totally unexpected.”
Moving up the model range, the current Clio will be replaced by the redesigned Clio IV in September this year with a new design and new powertrains and Norman revealed there will be a sister car to Nissan’s Juke around 2013.
The Megane five-door hatchback, three-door coupe and estate/wagon will be replaced in 2014 while the replacement for the Kalios will take the monospace direction seen in the R Space Concept with full off-road capability and be available from 2014 or 2015. The new Laguna will be launched in 2015 around the same time as the new Espace.
Renault is also looking for a new product plan for its Korean affiliate Samsung which Norman said has “lost a lot of money”.
“Samsung will be part of the upper range models we are planning and the new large cars will influence what we do in Korea.
“We were caught short in the market there by Hyundai and Kia, we weren’t expecting them to be as good as they are. You can no longer make a car for one region and what we do in Europe will influenced by what is happening elsewhere.”