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The Alpine sportscar has been spotted stretching out in southern Europe wearing a modified Lotus Exige body.

It's irrelevant to talk about its design as it carries a custom Lotus Exige body, but we did notice something interesting on where you would normally find the fuel cap on the Exige. Instead of the regular lid it seems to have a red cap which looks like a big button, but most likely it's detachable. Up front on the hood there's a second fuel cap, thus indicating the test mule was actually a plug-in hybrid.

Since the voltage sign was positioned above the right-side mounted cap, this means the power socket goes in there, so refueling is done through the front cap which seems a bit weird as we'd expect it to be the other way around.

Previous rumors were indicating the reincarnated Alpine sportscar would use a 1.8-liter turbo engine with 250 PS (185 kW), 275 PS (205 kW) and 300 PS (220 kW). It now seems it will be a plug-in hybrid which is surprising, to say the least.

Regardless of what powers it, Renault says the new Alpine has been pushed back until at least 2017 as the French want to make sure it will be "absolutely perfect" on launch.

Gallery: 2017 Alpine test mule spied inside and out; seems to be a plug-in hybrid

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