It wasn’t until the end of the year 2020 that it was announced that the Renault Formula 1 team would be switching its name and colors to those of the Alpine brand.
Before that announcement, a lot of people likely didn’t know a whole lot about the ins and outs of this automobile manufacturer.
And the reality is that, to begin with, very few people knew how to pronounce it correctly, whether they read it as “alpine” or the way that the members of the team explained it in a video.
In light of all this, we at Motorbli will discuss nine things about Alpine that you probably aren’t aware of to surprise you as readers and, incidentally, to provide you with some information about one of the most well-known manufacturers of sports cars.
This ensures that you won’t overlook the information presented in the following lines.
After this preliminary discussion of rigor and contextualization, it is now the appropriate time to get straight to the point and proceed to tell, one at a time, that series of curiosities that we have pledged to know at the beginning of this discussion. Here we go.
Alpine is an iconic house in its home country of France, even though it was possibly not so well known outside of France.
Alpine, however, did go through significant difficulties at various times, and we will go into further detail about this later.
It is a vehicle manufacturer that began operations in the year 1955, which means that it has approximately seven decades of life and progression to look back on.
Its first big hit was the Alpine A110 in 1970, which put the brand on the map due to its striking aesthetics and excellent performance in the World Rally Championship.
This vehicle was responsible for putting Alpine on the map (WRC).
Alpine was initially established in 1955 by its namesake, Jean Rédélé, in the town of Dieppe, which he called home at the time.
He was a French mechanic who built an excellent reputation based on his victories with a Renault 4CV.
In 1946, he decided to perfect the vehicle according to his standards to compete in the Tour de France, the Cup of the Alps, and other automobile competitions.
Because of the modifications made to his battle companion, he could win several Alpine races held at the time.
Consequently, Rédélé concluded that this should be the name of his creation.
As the son of a mechanic named Emile, who had also devoted himself to competition, Rédélé’s enthusiasm was passed down from generation to generation in his family.
As an official Renault racer, he had previously competed alongside the driver Ferenc Szisz, who had been declared the Grand Prix de la Sarthe winner in 1906.
In response to a request from Louis Renault, Emile established a Renault dealership in Dieppe. Louis Renault was one of Emile’s customers.
After completing his commercial studies degree in Paris at 24, he assumed leadership responsibilities for the organization.
Alpine’s origins can be traced back to the company’s primary focus on preparing Renault automobiles for racing.
Alpine gave Renault automobiles a completely new appearance, which resulted in significant victories and increased notoriety beyond the borders of France.
After a string of successful performances, Rédélé was able to secure a job with the diamond company, where he remained employed from 1951 until 1954.
With the foundation of the Renault 4CV, Rédélé got to work in 1952 to design the very first Alpine ever made.
It competed in the Thousand Miles race that same year and came out on top, demonstrating Rédélé’s skill as a designer of magnificent automobile works of art.
After this victory, the team won several other competitions, including the Alpine Cup, the Monte Carlo Rally, and others.
This caused a lot of drivers to wish they had an Alpine in their hands when they were competing because Alpines were known for having good performance and being dependable cars.
As a result of the overwhelming demand from industry experts, [decided to launch a limited series consisting of a fiberglass resin body: the Alpine A106.
In later years, a saloon version of the vehicle was released under the name Alpine A108.
That limited series, propelled by competition successes, coincided with the creation of the Alpine Automobile Company, which now has its headquarters in the same town that its founder called home and is also the place where the model was designed.
Like other car manufacturers in the modern era, Alpine sells models of automobiles whose names vary depending on the country in which they are distributed.
For instance, in Spain, the Renault Copa Turbo is known by this name, whereas in the United Kingdom, the sportier versions of the R5 were referred to as the Gordini.
This pattern continued in France, where Alpine, as a constructor, gave its name to the Renault 5 Alpine and, later, the Alpine Turbo.
In other words, the French automotive industry followed this pattern.
This is most likely one of the peculiarities that will astonish the majority of internet users who navigate to this lowly portal.
FASA, the company dedicated to manufacturing Renault cars under license in Valladolid, began working with these after having been in charge of several Alpine models in Spain for some time.
During that time, FASA was responsible for producing several Alpine models.
However, the mechanisms used to make them work were not nearly as powerful as those used in France.
It was the 1960s, and Spain was just starting to emerge from the gloom that the Civil War had left behind.
At the time, the Seat 600 was the most common model to see on the streets, and this helped to symbolize, in part, the economic progress that the Spanish country was making.
As a result, the Alpine, a purebred sports car, was driving around by itself.
The Valladolid factory produced the quintessential French sports cars with engines of 1,000, 1,200, and 1,400 cubic centimeters between 1967 and 1978.
As a result, these automobiles were the only ones manufactured in Spain at the time.
However, by the time it reached the end of its production run, the Alpine A110 was already showing signs of being out of date, even though its performance was admirable.
In any case, attempts to prevent a decline in sales were unsuccessful, and possibly because of this failure, it was decided that the Alpine A310 would not use the same strategy as its predecessor.
As we have progressed through the title of this epigraph, we have realized that Bulgaria was also the location of the production of Alpine models with its very own version.
The work, produced in the town of Plovdiv between 1967 and 1969 as a result of a collaboration between the French company and ETO Bulet, was given the name Bulgaralpine (although they did not put much effort into the project).
It was a car with its own unique design and body crafted out of fiberglass, and it was primarily marketed toward sporting organizations and racing teams.
However, the exact number of units that were manufactured is unknown, but estimates place the number somewhere between 60 and 150.
Production of the product ceased in 1969 after a total of 60 to 150 units were manufactured.
Dieppe was in charge of the assembly of Renault’s racing and sports cars, which will be covered further down in the article as a result of some of the things that were covered at the beginning.
Late in the 1970s, work on this endeavor got underway, and among the vehicles, he was responsible for were the Renault R5 Turbo, the Renault Sport Spider, the Clio RS, and the Mégane RS.
The Clio RS of the fourth generation was the most recent vehicle to earn this accolade.
All of this transpired as a result of the fact that, in 1973, a diamond company purchased 70 percent of Alpine as a result of the oil crisis.
This event was the catalyst for the beginning of the end of Alpine’s career in the world of competition. It was also why Alpine’s sports division changed its name to Renault Sport and became Renault’s racing department.
Because of Alpine’s extreme reliance on Renault, the company has produced only about eight of its vehicles in the close to seven decades since it was founded.
The Alpine A106 and A108, which were previously mentioned, were the first two cars on the track record, followed by the Alpine A110, A310, GTA, V6 Turbo, A610, and the “reincarnated” A110 from 2016, which was released in 2016.
Because production was halted for a significant number of years, precisely 21, this also affected what was just discussed regarding the small number of own cars that were introduced to the market.
There were efforts made by Lotus to resurrect the brand, but Renault categorically rejected them, and in 2014, Renault took complete control of the house in an attempt to relaunch the brand.
To accomplish this goal, the company unveiled the prototype of the “resurrected” Alpine A110, which was scheduled for release in 2016 after a gap of two years.
The new Alpine A110 retained the spirit of its predecessor. Still, it was outfitted with technology from the 21st century, and a weight-to-power ratio was prioritized to provide the best driving experience.
Luca de Meo, the CEO of the diamond-shaped company, wants Alpine to become a kind of Ferrari within the company, with its proposal of super sports cars and a focus on competition that is palpable with the F1 team and the arrival of two-time Spanish champion Fernando Alonso.
Changes in the management of the diamond-shaped company have also been partly to blame.
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