Alpine will take the fight to the big boys in 2024.
The 21st-century relaunch of the Alpine brand didn't quite go according to plan. There was a financial crisis, which made it impossible for Renault to launch the brand before 2017. It started racing in endurance categories in partnership with Signatech in 2013. Now it's heading for the pinnacle, but as its cars are not offered in the USA here's a quick introduction.
Alpine's A110 is a stunning machine, but the marque has yet to expand its range further than the mid-engined Porsche Boxster competitor. We think Alpine will eventually launch more models, but it's building the brand for now.
Renault wants Alpine to be synonymous with motorsport. That's why the F1 team changed its name from Renault Sport to Alpine, in line with its high-performance models.
The Alpine F1 team is doing quite well, currently leading the mid-field. However, main competitors like Mercedes, Red Bull Honda, McLaren Mercedes, and Ferrari are still out of reach.
Its endurance team is doing much better. Alpine finished third on the podium in the top-flight class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Now, it's taking on the big boys in the Hypercar class in 2024.
Alpine will compete in the LMDh class, which is going to be the hottest segment bar none. The rivals already confirmed for this particular class include Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Cadillac, BMW, Audi, and Toyota. It's going to be a proper showdown between some of the biggest names in the business.
The LMDh class is essentially a hybrid class with multiple shared components between the competitors.
This hybrid class matches up nicely with the Alpine F1 team. F1 cars also run hybrid systems, and the endurance team will have loads of know-how to tap into. The combined experience of Signatech and the Alpine F1 team will give the Alpine LMDh car a competitive edge.
"Alpine's Endurance program highlights the brand's commitment and ambition to motorsport. By competing in both Formula 1 and Endurance, Alpine will be one of the rare brands competing in both of motorsport's pinnacles. We will get the best out of Formula 1 and Endurance racing through technical and technological synergies to get the edge over prestigious rivals," said Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine Racing.
Alpine also states that it will be selling LMDh cars to customer teams, making it a viable economic model. LMDh vehicles are also eligible to compete in the IMSA SportsCar Championship. It could be an excellent way of introducing the Alpine brand to the USA in limited numbers. We know Lotus and Alpine are teaming up to create an electric sports car, and Lotus already enjoys quite a cult following in the USA.
While the LMDh car is only scheduled to compete in 2024, Alpine and Signatech have stated that they want to continue competing in endurance racing to be prepared for the epic battle in 2024.