French carmaker Renault resurrected Tuesday its Alpine brand of sports car, with an modern reincarnation of its sleek A110 Berlinette expected to roll off the production line next year.
Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn presented the Vision, a concept car he said "is very close" to the production model that will be unveiled by the end of this year and go on sale in 2017.
He said the choice of the name "reflects our determination to stay true to Alpine's heritage while offering a car that is thoroughly modern".
The A110's sweeping curves and sweeping success on the European rally circuit brought the brand renown in the 1970s, but by 1995 Renault put the brand in mothballs despite staying involved in racing.
Ghosn said the lightweight chassis developed by Renault Sport will help the Vision accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in less than 4.5 seconds, better than a Porsche 911 Carrera.
"Alpine with its rich history is the obvious way to enter the premium sports car market," said Ghosn.
"Despite the fact that no Alpine cars have rolled off the line since 1995, Alpine still represents the dream of racing glory, performance, and passion for enthusiasts around the world" and will allow Renault to leverage its technological expertise in a growing market segment, he added.
Renault will manufacture Alpine cars in the brand's historical home in the northwestern French city of Dieppe.