The roadgoing arm of the Formula 1 team has big plans for the future of the sports car.
A couple of days ago, we introduced you to the first glimpse of Alpine's latest concept: the Alpenglow. Set to debut at the 2022 Paris Motor Show next week, Alpine decided to drop some more information and a full gallery of images on its new groundbreaking concept in the meantime. It may not be real (yet) like the beloved A110, but we can still dream, right?
In case you missed our last article, Alpine says the Alpenglow is "more than a concept car: it is a brand manifesto." Previously thought to be an EV, Alpine has now divulged that the sports car concept is hydrogen-powered. Whether this is in the form of a fuel cell or hydrogen combustion was not divulged, but the accompanying video showing the concept in CGI action seemed to hint at a soundtrack hewn from microexplosions more than moving electrons. Visually, however, it seems there's not much room for such an engine, so we'll have to wait for more details. However, this is the second such concept from the French brand to use hydrogen as a power source.
Alpine, much like mothership Renault, is moving towards alternative fuels, and has already showcased concepts using hydrogen. The vehicle is meant to be a glimpse into the brand's road and track future, the focal point from which Alpine's upcoming designs and technologies can stem.
The name Alpenglow, which literally describes the red glow over the mountains right before sunrise, is meant to signify the dawn of things to come for the brand. Long, sleek, and low - to say it's striking is an understatement. It's reminiscent of an Aston Martin Valkyrie, with the long swooping body and extended rear, while at the same time harkening back to the A220 of late 60's endurance racing fame.
With the occupant fixed securely in the center of the car, they are then flanked by two hydrogen fuel tanks on either side. The car was designed with the idea of form following function in a similar vein to the Gordon Murray Automotive T50. In this instance, the powertrain and mechanical components were designed first, and then the body around them. The spoiler, much of the roof, parts of the engine cover, steering wheel paddles, and even pedals are transparent, which allows fewer distractions between the driver and the road. The whole car is more than 16 feet long, over 6 feet wide, and less than three feet tall - proportions that would put most hypercars to shame.
Alpine is pushing this idea of melding occupant and machine, and it wants its future models to embody this oneness. It wants a complete connection of the driver and the vehicle to the road, while at the same time connecting them to nature through design, the sustainability of its vehicles, and racing/driving in general. It's an admirable goal, and something the brand hopes to realize in its "Dream Garage" - three exclusive all-electric vehicles in a GT crossover, a compact sports car, and the replacement for the A110, which will be electric.
Unfortunately, the Alpenglow seems like it may be stuck outside the garage looking in. Concept cars like this are design and engineering marvels, but they usually run into speedbumps pretty quickly when it comes to production. It will likely serve as an influence for other models rather than the basis of a production car, which is probably for the better; because why would you want to let road safety regulations ruin a face like that?