Plans for a jointly developed electric sports car between European niche automakers Lotus and Alpine are reportedly scrapped. The collaboration ended on friendly terms according to Automotive News Europe, though a specific reason for the decision wasn't mentioned.
The partnership was announced in 2021. Renault Group – the parent company for Alpine – revealed at the time that Alpine would become a purely electric performance brand. The plan was to have things cooking mid-decade, with a next-gen electric sports car co-developed with Lotus being a vehicle shared by both brands. Automotive News Europe cites Lotus as stating the company simply decided not to progress further with the project, though future cooperation is still possible. Autocar reports Alpine as confirming the news in a statement.
Gallery: 2023 Alpine A110 R
It's worth noting the report specifically calls out just the planned sports car project. Alpine's future electric ambitions include larger SUVs that could utilize Lotus platforms. By future electric ambitions, we're referring to vehicles beyond more immediate EVs drawing from Renault's portfolio, specifically a sporty hatch based on the new Renault 5 and a crossover called the GT X-Over. Of course, Lotus launched the Eletre last year, the company's first SUV which was speculated to provide the foundation for Alpine's larger offerings. The original plan had Alpine bringing these SUVs to market later in the decade.
For now, the current-generation A110 is still very much alive with its turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The mid-mount powerplant dishes up 300 horsepower in the A110 R, the latest version of the small sports car that debuted in October 2022. Infused with track-focused suspension and a healthy dose of carbon fiber, it clips to 60 mph in less than four seconds while still being a road-legal machine. That is, road-legal in Europe, anyway. The current A110 in any form isn't offered for sale in North America, but with it expected to stick around until at least 2026, Renault is at least considering other export options.