Alpine's Macan-fighting SUV rumors aboundby Ben Hsu
Rumors of a Nissan Z-based Alpine SUV are flying, but do they hold water?
Reports out of Australia claim that Renault's revived performance brand Alpine is working on an SUV positioned as a Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan rival.
According to Motoring, the yet-unnamed SUV would be developed in conjunction with Renault's corporate partner Nissan. It also cites an Autocarinterview with the Alpine chief Michael van der Sande, in which he says "Alpine was always about launching a brand, not just a sports car.”
Both sources seem to believe that the Alpine crossover would share a chassis with a rumored sports crossover that is also going to be the next Nissan Z. Much of that is predicated on the Nissan GripZ concept revealed in Frankfurt last September.
However, in our own talks with sources at Nissan asking whether management would make the next Z a crossover, the response was "They're not idiots." If we had to guess — and that's is all this is — is that the Alpine crossover would be based on a platform like that of the Infiniti FX, which shares some of its base with the Z, rather than an actual Z crossover.
In any case, van der Sande himself never mentions the words "crossover" or "SUV." He merely states that there could be "six or seven" models in the Alpine brand. While that indicates that a larger vehicle is quite likely, it has not yet been confirmed.
Live image by Ben Hsu.