It just might not be badged a Lotus.
Groupe Renault has been implementing some massive changes over in Boulogne-Billancourt. Together with alliance partners Nissan and Mitsubishi, the brand announced it will introduce 35 electrified models by 2030 as part of a $26 billion initiative. Part of that includes the electrification of its sports car brand, Alpine.
The sports car company recently teamed up with Lotus to develop an all-electric sports car platform but, if the latest rumors are to be believed, the partnership isn't ending there. French newspaper La Tribune reports Renault is looking at moving Alpine production over to Lotus's Hethel plant in the UK.
Currently, the iconic facility produces the Emira which is the last gas-powered Lotus. The platform, which will reportedly underpin the next-generation A110, is expected to be ready by 2025.
This would make a lot of sense; from 2025, Renault is planning to build the GT X-Over EV at Alpine's Dieppe facility so the A110's successor may need to make way. Of course, Renault has declined to comment on the matter but all the signs are there. If the rumor does turn out to be true, Alpine purists certainly won't be pleased.
The brand has been based in Dieppe for decades and the move over to England will break with tradition. Then again, Renault is probably less interested in tradition than it is with savvy financial decisions. Getting a trusted partner to build the new electric A110 will be a lot cheaper than building additional production lines and, besides, it will be more practical if Lotus is set to share the platform anyway.
Alpine is one of many manufacturers embracing the future of electromobility. Aside from a commitment to go fully electric by 2024, the brand has announced intentions to introduce a trio of high-performance electric vehicles in the near future. As we know, one of these will be the electric A110 successor but a hot hatch and a grand tourer are also slated for introduction.
Elsewhere, the brand has shared its vision of what it thinks the hydrogen-powered supercar of the future should look like. For now, the A4810 remains a concept but, with Alpine welcoming the electric era with open arms, it may very well be a possibility in the future. Designed by the talented students from Turin's Istituto Europeo di Design, it's certainly a looker. Perhaps the upcoming electric A110 successor will draw inspiration from the sculpted beauty.