The two automakers split amicably.
Lotus and Alpine have called it quits on their planned collaboration to build a sports car. The deal didn't last very long, but it made sense for the two boutique manufacturers to team up, considering their focus on lightweight sports cars. Lotus would have had access to Alpine's motorsport research and development, which included a lot of electrification know-how.
"We have decided not to progress with the joint development of a sports car for Alpine. This is a mutual decision reached amicably," Lotus said to Automotive News Europe. This latest statement does not rule out future shared ventures. "We have built a strong relationship between the two companies and will continue to discuss other opportunities," said Lotus.
Earlier reports suggest that Alpine, which belongs to Renault, will be using its own technology to design future models.
Despite Nissan being uncomfortable with Renault's close relationship with Geely, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance reached a new agreement, with embattled Mitsubishi walking away as the clear winner. Renault and Nissan aim to build 30 new electric vehicles under the new venture. In short, its electric future is secure.
Alpine's CEO, Laurent Rossi, previously stated that Geely is a natural fit for platforms, but that statement was made before the new alliance deals were ironed out. Renault also announced that it wants to reinvent itself with a series of high-end EVs, and the most likely result is Alpine simply not needing Lotus anymore.
According to Automotive News Europe, Alpine will kick off its EV revolution with the production version of the all-electric hot hatchback concept, the A290_ß. It will arrive in 2024, followed by a sporty compact SUV in 2025. This SUV will use a highly-modified version of an existing platform.
It's not like Alpine is leaving Lotus out to dry. Geely owns Lotus and Lynk & Co, Zeekr, Volvo, and, crucially, Polestar. Geely traditionally kept its various brands separate, but there has been more sharing over the last few years. Polestar has a few incoming SUVs and crossovers, which Lotus can tap into.
Interestingly, Geely and Renault have their own joint venture called "Horse." Like Porsche and BMW, the French brand is not done with internal combustion yet and has set up this new venture to create more efficient combustion and hybrid powertrains. How this will impact Alpine and Lotus in the future remains to be seen, as both automakers are fully committed to going electric.
As you might have heard, Alpine is coming to America, but not as soon as some might have hoped. By the time the first units arrive at AutoNation dealers, the brand will be fully electrified, which means its first US-bound product will likely be the A290_ß electric hatch, meaning the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N and Kia EV6 GT will have some competition.
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