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This is Alpine’s Vision GT concept
The Vision Gran Turismo concepts keep coming. And when they look like this, we’re not complaining one bit.
This is Alpine’s effort. Alpine, if you need a reminder, is a sports car maker with ties to Renault; production of its Porsche-rivaling A610 ceased in the 1990s, but it still has motorsport presence and a new mid-engined road car lies on the horizon.
A madcap concept may go some way to help stymy impatience as the latter remains in development, away from our prying eyes.
The VGT concept is certainly an arresting diversion. There are hints of LMP2 endurance racer in its side profile - no surprise given it’s Alpine’s current area of motorsport expertise - but beyond that, the Vision GT spins off in its own barmy direction.
Its weeny, off centre driving position catches the eye (sitting on the right is ideal for clockwise circuits, such as Le Mans), as does its open and no doubt hugely aerodynamic rear end. And those wheels? They’re a work of art.
Our favourite features, though, are those that defy production reality most. The slinky instrument display behind the meticulously stitched steering wheel is neat, but top billing goes to its fold-out side airbrakes, which also house the brake lights.
Three colour schemes will be available in the game; the white and blue here, orange and blue (familiar from Alpine’s A450 real-life racer), and matt black.
So what lies beneath its bonkers looks? A 4.5-litre V8 engine with 450bhp and 428lb ft sits amidships. It drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed sequential gearbox, while stopping power comes courtesy of stocky vented discs, measuring 390mm at the front, 355mm rear.
It’s good for a top speed of 199mph - you’d think eking out an extra virtual 1mph would have been possible - while the Alpine Vision GT weighs 900kg, less than a 0.9-litre Renault Twingo.
The chassis is carbon monocoque, while the suspension comprises motorsport-style pushrods. The springs and dampers are adjustable, and being a virtual car, that’s a process mercifully free of grimy spanners.
With 47/53 front/rear weight distribution, handling hopefully won’t be be too tricky. It will be interesting to try it, as one of the engineers behind Alpine’s upcoming road car - Terry Baillon - has thrown out some teasing quotes.
“If you look carefully, you may discern some of the handling characteristics of our future road-going model”, he said, possibly teaming it up with a suggestive wink.
“The Alpine Vision Gran Turismo feels agile, responsive and fun - in other words, a true Alpine”, he continued.
A real Alpine Vision GT does exist, though it’s not one we’ll be able to sneak a go in, being a composite full-scale model to show off the car’s design.
It’s currently being shown at the Festival Automobile International in Paris, before a stint at the Retromobile Show from February 4, where Alpine’s 60th birthday shindig will kick off. Handy that.