Dear Renault, Please Give America Another Chance

Source: GREG WHITE/SID LEE/Renault
Source: GREG WHITE/SID LEE/Renault

Dear Renault,

We’ve been looking at the new Alpine Celebration Concept, and frankly, we want in. But before we start in on our sales pitch for you, who stopped giving us Americans a sales pitch back when we were toddlers, we want to open with an apology. We think its safe to assume we’re speaking for all 322 and change million Americans by saying we’re really, really, sorry we didn’t buy more of your cars last century. Hey, Motor Trend named the Alliance its Car of the Year back in ’83, that’s gotta be good for something, right? Oh, and ignore articles with titles like “Renault Alliance: Still On The Scrapheap of History,” and “Franco-American With an Aftertaste,” that’s just good ‘ol American humor! Besides, we don’t think the English to French Google Translate has been working right lately anyway.

Here’s the thing: A lot has changed since the ’80s, and we Americans aren’t afraid of “Import Cars” anymore. Toyota is the best-selling car company over here, and has been for years. Last month, more people bought BMWs than Chryslers, and FCA announced that it’s resurrecting Alfa Romeo from its pile of rust to give the whole America thing another try. Hell, even Aston Martin is thinking about building a plant in Alabama. Aston Martin! In Alabama!

And while Alfa already has its brilliant mid-engined 4C, which has found fewer buyers than the Cadillac ELR, we need the Alpine here to take it on. And the Porsche Cayman and Boxster. And the Audi TT. And to slap Mercedes-Benz and BMW out of whatever stupor they’re in with the SLK/SLC and the Z4. But while this sounds like a tall order for a brand that’s been gone from these shores for over 25 years, and is fondly remembered by many in this country for having the reliability of a North Korean lawnmower, let us assure you that those days will be forgotten the second the first Alpine reaches our shores, because in the words of Jeremy Clarkson:

Look at it!

Source: GREG WHITE/SID LEE/Renault
Source: GREG WHITE/SID LEE/Renault

As we Americans say, you got a real purdy car there, Renault. Clearly with your choice of graphics on the concept, you’re familiar with the VW Vortex community, and can see what dedicated American enthusiasts will do to your beautiful European car once used ones become cheap enough for first car fodder. But here’s the real reason why we need the Alpine, Renault: it’s a mid-engined coupe with an engine note that sounds like the reincarnation of its rally car ancestor, and you’re planning to sell it for under $40,000. Under $40,000! That’s Toyota Sienna Limited money. That’s mid-range Ford F-150 money. What that isn’t is mid-engine exotic money. You’ll have the whole market to yourself.

Source: GREG WHITE/SID LEE/Renault
Source: GREG WHITE/SID LEE/Renault

Slap in an interior that rivals the Audi TT, and bolt in an all-wheel drive system to take on the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS, and watch those Alpines fly out of dealerships faster than that last great Franco-American collaboration, the Cronut. And don’t worry about dealerships here: through your global partner Nissan, you’ve already got over 1,100 of them ready to go. With Nissan’s success, you don’t need to worry about your cars being looked at as weird anymore either. Nissan is selling us the Juke, and people are actually buying it. Before that, they were able to convince over 75,000 Americans to buy the Cube. And that penalty box even won awards. Unlike Toyota, Honda and (God help us) BMW, Nissan is one of the few automakers who isn’t afraid to get weird, and we love them for it!

So come on down, Renault, the timing is perfect. Besides, you’re French, we’re Americans, we have a lot in common. You sent over Lafayette to help Washington defeat the British? We sent over General Eisenhower, and a little later, Jerry Lewis. Your flag is red,white, and blue? So is ours. You like cheese? We like cheese too. A lot. Renault, don’t let the Alliance be your Waterloo – no, wait…

Look, give us a little credit here. Serge Gainsbourg may not have caught on here like he should’ve, and the films of François Truffaut might be over a lot of our heads, but trust us, we’re ready for the Alpine. While you’re at it, we’re also ready for the Megane RS 275 Trophy. Send some of those over too.


The Concerned American Carbuyers at Autos Cheat Sheet

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