Renault’s ‘Alpenglow’ is powered by hydrogen — and looks out of this world

In German, Alpenglow translates to Alpenglühen, which translates to an optical illusion that’s defined by a rosy, reddish light that appears around the mountains on the horizon during sunrise or sunset. An Alpine vision, certainly. It’s also the name of a conceptual sports car from Renault’s Alpine division that makes the Batmobile look like a Chevy Nova.

The idea to equip this machine with a hydrogen-powered engine may be futuristic in the “green” sense, but the shape of the single-seater — stunning, sexy, svelte and over over-the-top — is supposed to evoke, according to the press statement, “natural elements and states – such as fire, water, ice, wind and steam.” Or Batmobiles.

There’s no official suggestion about the kind of power that the hybrid hydrogen internal-combustion engine planned for Alpenglow could generate. But one needn’t read between the lines of Alpine’s presentation to sense where the car is going: “This concept car is cast for competition: The extremely long and slender wings are a nod to the endurance A220 from then late 1960s. …” Size-wise, it is more than five meters long, over two meters wide and less than one meter high, a “dream car’s proportions” that point to Alpine’s future design language.

Inside, the Alpenglow is just as outer-spacey. The steering wheel — only a “wheel” in the cosmic sense — mimics the devices in Formula 1 and LMP1 racers. Overall, the cabin is “transparent, has a blueish hint and is helmet-shaped.”  And let’s not forget the “snowflake-shaped” rims that “transport us to the mountains.” Most of the time virtually, we presume.

As far as the “real” future is concerned, Alpine (not to be confused with Alpina, which is part of BMW) says its Dream Garage will be made up of three all-electric models: a compact sports car (B segment), a GT crossover (C segment) and an A110 replacement.

For the moment, says Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi, “Alpenglow’s mighty and lavish design hints at what Alpine cars will be like tomorrow, and at our vision for motor sports moving forward.”

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