Looks like the big players should keep a close eye on the little sports car maker from Dieppe.
With so many performance car makers raking in the moolah through SUV sales, it was no real surprise to hear that Alpine also has ambitions to sell high-riders of its own. Given the company's heritage with making sports cars, it's also unsurprising to discover that the fairly recently revived French firm is expecting its future SUV will be fun to drive. What we perhaps weren't anticipating, though, was to hear via a new report from Autocar that Alpine's got some very accomplished rivals in its sights for its upcoming sports utility vehicle.
According to the report, Alpine is benchmarking the SUV against some pretty premium competition. Though Michael van de Sande, Alpine's managing director, wasn't cited as explicitly name checking potential rivals, the British motoring magazine did state that this upcoming SUV will rival the Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan. Those are two of the greatest driver-focused SUVs on sale today, and a pair of truly talented cars in general. It's already hard enough for established brands to trounce those two for driver involvement, so it's especially intriguing to hear that a company with no prior experience with this kind of car allegedly feels it's up to the challenge.
Then again, it's not like Alpine's entering the SUV fray blind with no outside assistance. Considering Renault's owned the rights to Alpine since 1973, it's practically a given that "La Regie" will be involved in the project to some degree. Nissan will also likely be associated with the Alpine SUV program, and it's possible that even Mitsubishi (which Nissan has owned a controlling stake in since the kei car fuel economy scandal earlier this year) could provide some PHEV expertise for the inevitable hybrid model. Come to think of it, with a list of potential partners like that, it suddenly looks like Alpine's first ever SUV could be a genuinely good piece of kit.