Alpine and Lotus will not be co-developing an all-electric sportscar. The sports car brands have axed their collaboration under “mutual agreement” and will go through the development process alone. The project was scheduled to spawn a successor to the Alpine A110 and the new Lotus Type 135.
Developing electric cars is costly, particularly when the specifications are demandingly high, and output is low, like for sports cars. So in 2021, it seemed a good idea for Alpine and Lotus, both niche brands backed by big car groups, to walk that aisle together.
Vertically stacked batteries
Both parties signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate the feasibility of a collaboration. The target was to build the zero-emission successor to the highly appraised A110, which has been on the market for six years. At Lotus, the joint project aimed at giving birth to the new Elise. Technically, the carmakers planned to have the batteries stacked vertically, in a ‘mid-engined’ position, a solution reportedly also pursued by Porsche for the next Cayman.
But a memorandum of understanding isn’t the same as an approved action plan. Both parties have strong ties under previous collaborations in Formula 1 and have said they will not proceed with the planned cooperation. Both brands have been working for two years on the project out of a shared vision that a sports car needs to be light to be agile, a specific challenge in the light of current battery technology.
In an official statement, Alpine wrote: “We have decided not to progress with the joint development of a sports car for Alpine. However, this mutual decision was reached amicably, and we will discuss other future opportunities.” So, while the sports car is off the table, shared technology developments are still bound to happen.
Alpine previewed the battery-powered successor to the A110 in the study model A 110 E-ternité. As with the new Elise, Alpine will now build the model on its own. It will sit in the middle of the R5 Alpine and the cross-over GT-X Over.
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