Renault isn't known for mid-engined roadsters. That could all change with this dashing droptop.
Renault probably isn't a brand you'd immediately associate with lightweight sports cars. It's perhaps testament to that reputation (or, rather, lack of) that the firm's most famous mid-engined car is the 5 Turbo hot hatchback. However, Renault has dabbled with more conventional two-seater cars in the past: The late 90s saw the rise of the short-lived Sport Spider and, as Alpine has been owned by Renault since 1973, all the rear-engined models it's built over that time have been Renaults.
What we'd especially like to see, though, is a roadster in a similar vein to this: the "Project Loisir." This stunning drop-top design study is the work of Joao Paulo Caetano Moreira, a Brazilian student of design at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Moreira hasn't disclosed any technical specs for his Project Loisir, but his one-off Renault design is so beautiful that we'd still love the car if it had the same grumbling diesel engine that our colleagues in Europe will experience in the Renault Clio supermini. Judging by some of the design cues, though, it's likely that Moreira had a more power plant in mind for his presumably mid-engined marvel.
Those gargantuan air intakes in front of the rear fenders, for instance, suggest something that needs an awful lot of cooling is nestled somewhere behind those two front seats. The rest of the Project Loisir's shape is quite similar to what we've seen already on Renault's DeZir and Alpine A110-50 concept cars, along with the R.S. 01 one-make racing car. Not that we're complaining, mind you. They're all brilliantly beautiful sources of inspiration. Moreira does embellish his design some unique touches, though, with our personal favorite detail being the split LED headlamps that give the Project Loisir a distinctive and unmistakable face. It's just a shame that, much like Renault's return to the States, the Project Loisir will likely never be given the green light.