1969 Alpine A220. 1500 lbs. 310hp. @ Circuit La Sarthe.
one word: WICKED.
There are very few automobiles which capture my attention, new or old, these days. My interest in automobiles has faded aside from a few select cars which i’m always chasing. i am, however, BLOWN AWAY by this car. the fact that it is a production car that looks like a concept. The fact that is totally a current car embedded with current technologies capturing the spirit of ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ without copying anything else before it. The fact that it’s the first hybrid sports car that is somewhat attainable (still expensive though…at $135k USA price). But most of all I love this car because it pushes and opens an envelope into the current times. No retro here. No celebration of the past. The BMW i8 is a celebration of the future.
If i had the money…i’d order this and drive it every day!!
Forget 0-60 times (4.4 seconds here), forget curb weight (3200+ pounds here), forget cost for a second, forget the badge, forget the insane aero design features— this car is a pioneer and a real innovation in this realm. It’s rare in these generic modern times of automotive engineering that we see a true beginning, but i have a feeling the i8 is the first of many coming in this realm.
(I don’t count cars like the Porsche 918, because of price and uber-exclusivity)
Live photos from Frankfurt (courtesy of greenCarReports)
promo photos from BMW in Black:
There were prettier, faster, more glamourous, more hyped, and more revered small coupes from that era (mid 60s)—but i would argue none of them were as COOL as the NSU TTS. rear-engined. rear-wheel drive. and definitely the most aggressive looking of them all. Eat your heart out, italians!
file under: off the beaten path, away from mainstream admiration (thankfully).
Need a place to watch Le Mans 2013?? Every year I put up the links I am using to watch Le Mans. The greatest race in the world is back……on one side of my mind, I have an Audi Sport flag waving and on the other side I have a blue Alpine flag waving for LMP2. Either way….this is the motor racing event of the year and definitely worth watching.
Here are some links to watch, listen, and follow (these will be updated throughout the next 24 hours). Please feel free to make any suggestions to other good sources.
EUROSPORT <——- superb link, British Eurosport in with English commentary
EUROSPORT #2 (also British Eurosport, thank you Ricardo for the link!)
Listen to fantastically detailed commenting at Radio Le Mans
LIVE TIMING via WEC! the best way to follow what’s going on with the positions, as well as interviews and videos
Audi Sport, onboard the R18s with Radio Le Mans commentary
My suggestion? find a video feed you like—and turn on Radio Le Mans and mute the video.
Go Alpine! Go Audi!
Le Mans weekend is here! Links will be up tomorrow about where to watch the race.
After watching 21 hours last year and suffering a near-nervous-breakdown—i have decided I will only follow what happens with the Alpine A450 and the Audi R18s this year. The Audis will most likely win as they usually do…but the A450 is starting 8th in the grid for LMP2. Here’s hoping for a strong showing!
Here’s a beautiful photo of the Alpine A210 during its time at the Le Mans Classic this year.
src of photo: octane
I eagerly await this year’s Le Mans (June 22-23)—-and while I will be, as usual, pulling for the stunning Audi R18s to win (as expected they will), my eyes will actually be peeled out for the Alpine A450 which heralds the return of one of the greatest marques in racing back to Le Mans! Sure this is a car that was developed primarily by Nissan originally, however its tuning and program is now joined to the hip with Dieppe and the Renaultsport/Alpine tuners. It is such a great feeling to see the Alpine marque on the track again, and with reasonable success I am sure that in the near future we will start to see a non-Nissan Alpine race car being developed and run in future endurance events!
Here are some photos shown by Team Signature about the current A450 race car doing Le Mans testing this weekend in France.
As usual, IEDEI will be setting up live feeds of Le Mans on this site as we do every year to help everyone to watch it!
Renault TV posted these official videos in celebration of their history and the resurrection of the Alpine marque. Car videos are mostly uninspiring, materialistic nonsense–but these Alpine A110 videos are out of this world….maybe because the car is out of this world?
Best part….it’s in English! So my rudimentary and primitive French translation doesn’t have to be challenged like it normally does with Alpine videos.
The MK1 TT is quite simply the most beautiful German car design in…what…the last 50 years….since the original Porsche 911, in my humblest opinion. The 80s and early 90s were pretty dark and depressing times for German car design which entered a comfort zone of drab, unimaginative, uncreative designs (except Porsche, who were always putting together interesting cars)..and the TT put an end to those dark ages. Timeless, ageless, and pure…..and with rumours of the next-generation MK3 TT being heavily influenced by the original, the MK1 TT’s legend will continue to grow.
Here’s the original 1995 MK1 TT Concept….the automotive design equivalent of punk rock in 1995! I have turned the original manufacturer photos in B&W to fully appreciate the geometry and design pornography!
It is astounding to me that the MK1 TT Coupe that sits in my garage (for the last 10+ years) is virtually identical to this concept, barring a few select details.
2450 pounds. (a reduction of 660 pounds!)
wow. I never thought i’d see an Audi TT with such a low weight. I think the MK2 TT was a major design flop as I think the MK1 is one of THE great designs in automotive history…but this weight reduction is almost enough to make me forgive the MK2’s unforgivable design flaws. Audi, you’ve impressed me yet again.
Read more details at Fourtitude
I was expecting an announcement for 2014 Le Mans, but Renault has somewhat surprised everybody by announcing that there will be an Alpine badged car racing the LMP2 class in THIS year’s Le Mans. Wow. They’ve also released the ‘teaser’ pic above (tastefully tweaked by yours truly).
Here are some quotes directly from Renault:
“Today, another important step has been taken with the announcement that an Alpine prototype is to race in the competitive 2013 European Le Mans Series endurance racing championship (ELMS), as well as at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours (June 22-23).
The decision to compete at Le Mans fits perfectly with the brand’s heritage, since Alpine contested the famous 24-Hour race 11 times between 1963 and 1978, running a total of 55 factory cars. In addition to its successes in the ‘Energy Index’ classification in 1964, 1965 and 1968, as well as in the ‘Performance Index’ classification in 1968 and 1969, its efforts harvested seven class wins in total and, above all, outright victory in 1978 with the Alpine A442B prototype shared by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Didier Pironi. The two Frenchmen were joined in the top four by the A442 of Jean Ragnotti and Guy Fréquelin.
For its return to Le Mans, Alpine has joined forces with Signatech. The Philippe Sinault-run team will enter an Alpine LM P2 prototype with an Alpine chassis powered by a 500hp Nissan engine for the five rounds of the ELMS, including the opening race at Silverstone, England (April 13). The drivers will be Nelson Panciatici and Pierre Ragues.
The highlight of the season will naturally be the Le Mans 24 Hours. The name of the third driver who will join the team for the world’s most famous endurance race will be announced when the car is officially presented at Le Castellet, France, on March 24.
Said Carlos Tavares, Chief Operating Officer, Renault: “Alpine’s return to the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours in 2013 marks the beginning of a new adventure which is set to last. The passion that drives us is matched only by the humility and careful attention paid to costs that epitomise this comeback which itself has been made possible thanks to the involvement of our partners and supporters who I would like to thank formally here. Together, step by step, we will do our very best to write another exciting page in the history of Alpine, a truly outstanding name in the world of French sports cars.””
I AM SO EXCITED.
src: renault press services
An announcement is expected Friday to hear Renault introducing the plans for their return to endurance racing! LMP2 is surely expected by the 2014 racing season with possible LMP1 ambitions as well, and the engines are expected to carry the ALPINE badge! Renaultsport (which evolved out of the original Alpine after it stopped making cars 20+ years ago) will be tuning them and involved with the engine construction. All of this seems consistent with the Renault plan to resurrect one of the finest racing and rallying marques ever! I wonder if the cars themselves will be badged “Alpine-Renault” like the old days.
IEDEI is, of course, devoted to Alpine news and will offer updates as they come in. My biggest issue is going to be whether I root for Audi or Alpine? I have stayed up to watch almost all Le Mans races for the past several years….and am a die hard Audi fanboy. If Alpine makes it to LMP1 against Audi…..it will be very very tough for me to root against the boys in blue.
BTW, to fuel the imagination, here is an interesting ‘re-interpretation’ (rendering) of the glorious Alpine A220 by Racing Emotion found at le Blog Auto. Obviously this is not a realistic vision, but still entertaining to look at!
This thing is out of this world. Quite honestly one of the most stunning race cars i’ve ever seen. One of 2 surviving Alpine A220 V8 prototypes developed, but never raced. On display now at Retromobile 2013. Currently privately owned, according to Renault Classic.
src: Renault Classic