France Hits Back at Germany, Opens Orders for Resurrected Alpine Brand

Alpine (Renault)

Dormant considering that 1995, Alpine is re-opening shop and taking reservations for its “Première Édition” — an exclusive version of its forthcoming rival to the Porsche 718.

In 2012, Renault announced plans to join forces with British track auto wizard Caterham to develop a new platform for a shared sports vehicle for Alpine and Caterham (feel Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86). Seemingly disinterested in producing something even remotely beneficial off-track, Caterham abandoned Alpine to carry on with the project alone.

Following dropping the Vision Idea earlier this year, Renault is now prepared to take orders for the unnamed, A110-inspired Alpine model and officially bring the French functionality brand back from the grave. 


Nonetheless, this very first run of mid-engined automobiles will be restricted to 1,955 cars — a reference to the year the Alpine brand was initial established and the 4CV-based A106 started production.

“Alpines created such a mark due to the fact of the elegance of their designs, their nimble handling and their memorable successes in planet class motor racing and rallying,” Alpine’s Managing Director Michael van der Sande stated in an official statement. “The interest that the announcement of Alpine’s return has generated across the globe inspired us to give sports car enthusiasts and Alpine fans early opportunity to reserve the new vehicle.”

“The Première Édition versions of the new model will be the 1st to come off the line and we wanted to let Alpine fans to decide on the number of their auto.”

Presumably, 0001 and 0069 are already spoken for. Although, if you have 2,000 euros, you can reserve one of the other numbers. Apparently incapable of settling on a cost, Alpine says the French-specification A120 Première Édition will come in between €55,000 and €60,000.

For that cash you do not know precisely what you are acquiring, as the production model hasn’t been officially revealed yet. Renault hasn’t even provided it a name, despite the fact that inside sources have strongly suggested it will continue its traditional nomenclature and dub it the A120.

Camouflaged images of the 1st edition show that it should be really comparable in look to the Alpine Vision Notion. Renault also treated us with a lovely video featuring 3 prototypes dancing about a skidpad collectively.

From a standstill, the A120 only takes 4.five seconds to reach 62 mph (one hundred kph) — placing it within striking range of a manual transmission Porsche Boxster S. What sort of powertrain makes that feasible is unknown, but rumors recommend anything out of the Renault Sport Mégane or possibly a new 1.eight-liter Nissan-sourced turbo 4.

If you trust Alpine’s judgement on drivetrains, reservations can be made now utilizing the custom app downloadable from Alpine’s official website. The only catch is that you have to live in either Europe or Japan.

[Images: Renault]

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Volkswagen To Go From ‘Clean Diesel’ Pusher to ‘Barely Any Diesel’ Brand: CEO

TDI Clean Diesel

It will not come as a surprise that Volkswagen’s U.S. arm is eager to place all that pleased-go-fortunate “clean diesel” stuff behind it.

As soon as the diesel emissions scandal sinks from the headlines like the Deepwater Horizon, the automaker plans to head in a diverse direction stateside, Automotive News reports, and oil burners will not be a huge component of it.

Volkswagen of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken told the publication that the Volkswagen landscape will soon appear far different, and the brand’s massive diesel push is, for all intents and purposes, stone cold dead.

“We are not stopping diesel,” Woebcken mentioned. “Wherever diesel makes sense as a package to the auto, we’ll continue. But in reality, we have to accept that the high percentage of diesels that we had just before will not come back once more.”

Volkswagen’s TDI models rode a wave of publicity and excellent press due to their power, exceptional mileage and supposed green virtues. That reputation now lies in pieces, just like the two.-liter TDI models will be when Volkswagen buys them back.

If the automaker gets federal approval to sell them, TDI models will continue in the lineup from 2017 to 2019, Woebcken stated, adding that he expects tighter regulations after that date. With the lead-up to the diesel buyback underway, the business hasn’t sought regulatory permission to restart sales. Then-new 2015 models were sidelined by the scandal, and Volkswagen never received the go-ahead for its 2016 TDI vehicles.

Volkswagen’s American future lies in crossovers and all-wheel drive, the CEO claims, and that is exactly where the company’s focus will be. The start off of the potentially lucrative (it hopes) utility push begins with the 2017 Golf Alltrack wagon this fall, and continues with the introduction of a new midsize crossover subsequent spring, as nicely as a new, longer Tiguan next summer time.

Each crossovers will be priced competitively, Woebcken stated.

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Will GMC’s Brand Makeover Contain a Jeep Fighter?

2015 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT 4x4 6.2 (6 of 25)

We’ve all observed the advertisements. Glistening GMCs plying the streets of Manhattan as Eminence Front swells in the background, broadcasting loud and clear to urban automobile purchasers that we’re right here, we’re trucks or truck-like automobiles, get employed to it.

Boosted exposure is a big element of GMC’s program to develop sales and brand recognition, but the next phase of the automaker’s revamp could see it take on Jeep.

GMC’s plans for the future are beginning to turn out to be clear, and while it appears like a modest crossover is out, a small SUV could be in. Speaking about the company’s two-phase strategy, GMC brand chief Duncan Aldred told Automotive News that Jeep’s runaway achievement may possibly need to be countered.

“I do feel GMC has got the brand equity and brand character in numerous respects to give clients a truly very good alternative to Jeep items,” Aldred said.

Business sources told Automotive News that GMC is in the early stages of crafting an SUV that will borrow the frame of the GMC Colorado midsize pickup. Analysts agree that Jeep is the most probably target for the automaker, although sources say the rumored SUV wouldn’t arrive till 2020 or later.

GMC sales hit an 11-year high in the U.S. final year, so the newfound exposure seems to be working. The high-end Denali line, which Aldred pushed in order to enhance the brand’s profitability, now makes up 20 % of sales.

Nevertheless, it is new merchandise that grow excitement. The GMC Terrain and its Chevrolet twin, the Equinox, are expected to shrink in size when the subsequent generation bows in 2017. Those models will ride atop the Chevrolet Cruze platform and could source the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the Malibu.

Plans for a smaller sized crossover inspired by the Granite notion vehicle fell though, achievable simply because sales could overlap with the Chevy Trax and Buick Encore. Aldred wants it, but it seems that Common Motors executives aren’t keen on the idea.

[Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Vehicles]

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Mercedes Expanding AMG Brand, Asking Dealers To Spend For Upgrades

Mercedes-AMG GT (C 190) 2014

Mercedes-Benz will open performance centers at particular dealerships across the U.S. to expand the AMG brand from enthusiast sub-brand to mainstream overall performance line, Automotive News is reporting.

Dealers may have to pay up to $ 200,000 for added showroom space and instruction, the report stated. The automaker expanded its AMG brand this year with the Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG and GLE450 AMG, which are efficiency variants of those cars but quit short of the full-functionality models.

The move is equivalent to how other luxury automakers watering down expanding their overall performance lines, such as Audi’s S-line and BMW’s M-division.

Last year, Mercedes-AMG sold much more than 11,000 models in the U.S. Sales of AMG-branded cars are anticipated to rise drastically with the expanded brand.

The dealerships would need to add 2,000 further square feet to current dealerships. Roughly 100 dealerships would add the efficiency centers, with half of those being “professional” centers with bigger studios. The centerpiece, according to the report, would be an 8-foot “Powerwall.”

According to the report, dealers will be compensated for the investment through greater incentives paid out for these autos.

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