Renault chief designer talks about the future of Alpine brandJune 8, 2020
The automotive industry is developing, buyers are flocking to SUVs, and the coronavirus pandemic has affected all automakers, including Renault, which is still trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
There were reports of the demise of some very high-profile names in the portfolio of the French brand, for example, Scenic and Espace minivans and the Talisman mid-size family car. Megane is also rumored to be removed from the lineup, and the future of the Alpine A110 was in question.
Fortunately, meanwhile, Renault received a $ 5.6 billion loan guaranteed by the French state at 90%. It will be a breath of fresh air that will help him and his brands focus on recovery, and Alpine seems to have a future. However, this future is likely to mean electrification, although the challenge is to reduce weight and create a sports car.
Renault chief designer Lauren van den Aker, who is also responsible for the design of the Alpine and Dacia brands, recently gave an interview on this topic.
“Ultimately, we will inevitably electrify Alpine – and this is not negative. We do this not only because of the rules. People’s expectations will change and push us in that direction. The task will be to do something electric. Direct speed is not a problem, but it is not Alpine’s appeal, ”he said.
Electrification may play a big role in the coming years for RS models, but the extra weight of batteries and electric motors is a very delicate matter.
“With RS, you want to use the car on the track. We must find a way to make you believe that EV is light when it is not. Technologies such as torque vectoring can help a car feel light when it actually weighs two tons. I hope that the technology can give us a fantastic driving experience, ”said van den Acker.
In a related article, a car designer talked about the future of MPV, alluding to the fact that they could be completely discontinued.
“At Scenic, we made a pretty car, which is number one in its segment in Europe, but the segment itself does not work. I would rather be number two in the growing segment than the first in the dying segment. This, combined with the need to develop electric vehicles, casts doubt on the economic feasibility of the future composition, ”added the chief designer.
The Dacia brand also runs on electricity, releasing Europe’s first zero-emission car based on the Chinese K-ZE. The pre-introduced Spring Concept is expected next year, with similar style and proportions at an affordable price.
“We are doing everything to keep the price as low as possible [in the spring]. Ironically, some people thought this was not suitable for Dacia, but in fact it could be what many people expect. Not everyone can afford a premium EV, ”said van den Acker.
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