While Renault car sales in France have been robust in the first half of 2008, in Europe – its biggest market – the group is down 4.6 percent. If higher sales and better market penetration is the question, could a sports coupé be the answer? The Cartribe reckon Renault thinks so. They say after an interview with one of Renault’s highest-ranking officials, news was revealed to them of a sportscar similar to the Nissan’s 350Z will be on sale by 2010.
Underpinning this vehicle would be an Infiniti G37/ Nissan 370 Z base, which we think wouldn’t be a lame idea in the least bit, given the outstanding handling characteristics of these two cousins. Moreover, the name Alpine would be the one to carry a sports Renault. You know the name from decades ago when it used to build winning racing cars using Renault engines. Although WCF reported on such a car a few weeks ago, it has been very much a rumour. Up until now.
A Renault proper sportscar we suspect would use a relatively small turbo engine rather than a large V6 block for obvious reasons; weight, compactness, emissions and a possible return of the turbo to Formula One. The car will not be based on any existing Renault car and will be quite different, even radical in styling. Renault desperately needs to justify its multi-million-Euro involvement in F1 and so far, as good as RenaultSport is, it hasn’t happened to the extent desired.