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Alpenglow Concept Offers a Glimpse at a Forbidden Alpine Hypercar

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Image for article titled Alpenglow Concept Offers a Glimpse at a Forbidden Alpine Hypercar

Image: Alpine

Alpine is still quite a young brand in its current incarnation. Renault resurrected the storied name in 2015 with a concept car for Gran Turismo, and the production-spec Alpine A110 followed two years later. The A110 has enjoyed some updates — we received the leaner, meaner S and the track-focused R in recent months — but the company is still figuring out what a true range looks like. A new concept, called Alpenglow, will supposedly help guide the way.

The Alpenglow was teased Thursday morning in tandem with the Paris Motor Show kicking off next week. It appears to be a concept car in the purest sense; Alpine has released no technical information about it, aside from the fact that it incorporates a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain, and the hydrogen itself is stored in two tanks pressurized to 700 bar. Does it run? Maybe! We don’t know yet.

Image for article titled Alpenglow Concept Offers a Glimpse at a Forbidden Alpine Hypercar

Image: Alpine

Design has clearly been the focus here, and Alpine says its forthcoming LMDh-class endurance racer will draw upon the Alpenglow’s “shape, headlamps and spirit.” The finer details, like the mix of opaque and translucent surfaces comprising the exterior, the red-to-blue LED strip bisecting the entire car lengthwise, and light trails at the fringes of the rear seem less appropriate for competition.

Image for article titled Alpenglow Concept Offers a Glimpse at a Forbidden Alpine Hypercar

Image: Alpine

The headlights themselves are worth a closer look, evoking the A110’s quad setup, with a second set of beams offset just below the nose. The Alpenglow evolves this by changing their shape from something more conventional and circular to geometric shapes breaking apart at the tail, conveying a sense of movement.

If the Alpenglow turned around right now, it’d see the faces of Alpine’s upcoming A110 replacement, B-segment entry-level sports car and grand-touring crossover. Talk about a missed connection.

If the Alpenglow turned around right now, it’d see the faces of Alpine’s upcoming A110 replacement, B-segment entry-level sports car and grand-touring crossover. Talk about a missed connection.

The reddish hue of these lights at the front of the car is what gives the concept its name. Alpenglow, if you weren’t aware (I wasn’t) is not the name of a brand of dish detergent but rather the term used to describe the visual phenomenon that occurs when the sun moves just below the horizon, painting mountains red.

The Alpenglow measures 16.4 feet long, more than 6.5 feet wide, and less than 3.2 feet tall — a “dream car’s proportions,” the brand tells us. The results speak for themselves, but, personally, I’m not seeing a whole lot of evolution from the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo that kicked off the automaker’s resurgence in the middle of the last decade. Here was the Alpine VGT, for reference:

Image for article titled Alpenglow Concept Offers a Glimpse at a Forbidden Alpine Hypercar

Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

And here’s the Alpenglow, in profile:

Image for article titled Alpenglow Concept Offers a Glimpse at a Forbidden Alpine Hypercar

Image: Alpine

The new concept is certainly a little more dramatic, but the basic form of stubby nose, rising beltline, and long tail with sharp edges hasn’t changed much, as both cars share the same inspiration: Alpine’s A220 prototype of the late ’60s. Moreover, the Alpenglow is not preview of a particular hypercar that will be sold to the public because, as Alpine points out itself in this latest press release, such a vehicle does not figure into its future lineup plans:

[Alpine’s] next generation of models – its Dream Garage – will comprise three exclusive and trailblazing all-electric models: a compact sports car (B segment), a GT crossover (C segment) and a A110 replacement.

Rather, this is how the most extreme Alpine would look, if the most extreme Alpine could exist. As much as I’d love for the brand’s eventual LMDh chassis to resemble the Alpenglow, I’m not going to hold my breath; race cars must satisfy regulations of course, and they rarely hit the track looking quite as nice as they do when we meet them in reveals for the first time. (Cadillac got pretty close with its latest Le Mans racer, though, to be fair.) Alpine’s prototype is due to debut in the World Endurance Championship in 2024.

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