Renault Sport is preparing to surrender officially by gathering the sports activities of the diamond brand under the Alpine flag both on the road and on the track. Announced with the Renaulution strategy in January 2021, this change has been in effect internally since May 1st: The next sports and racing cars of the Renault group are currently under development under the Alpine brand. But for the general public, Renault Sport will go extinct on December 31, 2021, with the disappearance of communication media bearing that name, such as special pages on social networks. Renault Sport will have lived 45 years.
Renault Sport was created for F1
In 1976 Renault reorganized its sporting activities and stopped using the name Amédée Gordini. The sport Renault 5, presented that year, took the suffix Alpine for the road (except in the UK, still referred to as Gordini) from the name of Régie’s other sporting subsidiary, which also offered its own models. For the track, Renault Sport was formed with the aim of developing the aptly named Renault RS01, which the company entered F1 in 1977. The first Renault Sport road vehicle was not marketed until 1995.
In 1995 Alpine was put on hold. The A610 did not achieve the expected success against other GTs of the time and this division of Renault, founded by Jean Rédélé, had to cease operations. after that, The Alpine plant in Dieppe has been reassigned to the production of the Renault Sport Spider, a 930kg two-seater that takes 150 hp from the Clio Williams 2-liter four-cylinder in the mid-rear position. Because the car is radical, it accompanies the marketing of the road model with a single-design champion, unless it’s the other way around. Tone set.
Gordini, Alpine, Williams…then Renault Sport
Renault Sport then takes on the second-generation Clio. The 172 and then 182 hp RS version of the city car replaced the Clio Williams and quickly won over the fans of small sports cars thanks to a successful chassis., despite an unattractive interior presentation. In parallel, the mid-rear-engined Clio V6 is offered as the successor to the R5 Turbo. Her tough behavior and perfect finish in “Phase 1” hurts her, but her unconventional character keeps her endearing. Third and fourth generation Clios also have RS versions available in limited series. Renault presented a 275hp RS16 as a concept in 2016 with the ambition to market it in small series, but unfortunately this project was canceled a few months later.
Race for records in the Mégane RS
Renault Sport received its letters of nobility with Mégane as an international-level preparer. From the second generation to the fourth generation of the compact, RS versions of it, and more radical special versions than ever before, have proven themselves time and again as the fastest pulls of their time on several circuits, including the Nürburgring. In this race, according to the intervening records, Renault’s main competitor is Honda, whose Civic Type R has stolen the crown from the Mégane RS after continued evolution. The final version of the current Mégane 4 RS is the two-seat Trophy-R of 2019, produced in 500 copies.
At the other end of the Renault Sport spectrum, let’s not forget the 133 hp Twingo RS, marketed in 2008 and 2013, benefiting from the short return of the Gordini brand during its short career. Renault Sport’s notable achievements, some of which some hope to commercialize, include the unusual Twizy RS F1 concept from 2013 and the RS01 racing GT from 2015, a twin-turbo V6 engine from the Nissan GT-R.
Alpine towards electric sportiness
As Alpine is revived in 2017 with a new A110, Renault Sport is leaving, proving once again that several sports crests cannot coexist at Renault. Norman firm replaced Renault in F1 and is developing 100% electric road models to offer a “zero emissions” range by 2025. This will include a muscular city car derived from the future battery-powered Renault 5. At the same time, the sporty RS Line trims of Renault models may soon wear the famous blue “A”.