British automaker Group Lotus has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with French automotive giant Groupe Renault’s motorcar subsidiary Alpine to study several areas of cooperation, including the joint development of an electric vehicle sports car.
The January 14 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) announcement was short on details but promised that teams from Alpine and Lotus would conduct a comprehensive feasibility study to explore joint engineering, design, and development project of an EV sports car.
The feasibility study and potential development of an EV sportscar is backed by the respective resources, expertise, and facilities of both Lotus and Alpine in the UK and France.
In a separate announcement a few days earlier announcing Alpine’s long-term plans as Groupe Renault’s brand dedicated to sports cars – which also announced that Alpine Cars, Renault Sport Cars (RSC), and Renault Sport Racing (RSR) – Alpine revealed that they would be building in partnership with Lotus a 100% EV replacement for the Alpine A100.
The EV replacement for the A100 will join Alpine’s “100% electric dream garage” along with an EV B-Segment Hot Hatch based on the Alliance CMF-B EV platform and an EV C-segment Sports Cross Over based on the Alliance CMF-EV platform.
Alpine and Lotus, which is already developing the Lotus Evija electric sportscar, will also explore the development of a joint services offer which combines the respective companies’ expertise, as well as an exploration of collaborating to leverage Alpine’s motorsport platform covering Formula One to Endurance.
“The signing of this MoU with Lotus shows the lean and smart approach we’re implementing as part of the new Alpine brand strategy,” said Laurent Rossi, CEO Alpine.
“Both brands have an amazing legacy, and we are most excited to start this work together, from engineering tailored solutions to developing a next-generation EV sports car. This collaboration along with our transformation mark the beginning of a new era in which we’ll be taking the Alpine name and line-up to the future.
“We’re putting F1 at the heart of our business, leveraging our in-house expertise and best-in-class partners such as Lotus to inject our cars with leading-edge performance, technology and motorisation.”
“Today’s announcement is the first step in what is set to be a hugely rewarding collaboration between our iconic brands,” added Phil Popham, CEO, Lotus Cars.
“We are proud to be working with Groupe Renault in this collaboration – sharing Lotus’ technical expertise and abilities and leveraging our long track record of successful collaborations.
“Our companies have much in common – from a pioneering pedigree in light-weighting to championship-winning sportscars which perform as impressively on the road as they do in the motorsports arena.
“It is a natural fit in many ways and the co-development of an EV sports car is hugely exciting for our companies, our fans and customers around the world. The joint-services element of our agreement will additionally make our engineering expertise available to those wishing to engage our innovations.”