Renault clearly has the soon-to-be-released Porsche 718 Cayman in its sights with its latest release: the gorgeous new Alpine Vision Concept. Unveiled earlier today and still technically in concept form, the Vision is reportedly around 80% of what will make it into the final production car, according to Alpine design director Antony Villain.

On looks alone it is certainly pretty enough to take on Porsche's neatly proportioned mid-engined sports car, and visibly channels elements of longstanding 1960s favorite, the Alpine A110 Berlinette.

As is the norm for small sports cars right now, the Vision will not have a huge powerplant, opting instead for a turbocharged four-cylinder sitting in middle. Officials say the engine will be developed by the RenaultSport unit and will be brand new, making a thoroughly reworked 1.8-liter version of the Clio RS's 1.6 turbocharged unit a likely option.

While this may not sound like much by Stateside big-block standards, Lotus-like flyweight construction will be a key element of the Alpine. A kerb weight of just over one t (2,200lbs) has been mooted, which would make it a nimble little thing indeed.

Alpine has confirmed that the concept's 0-62mph time will be less than 4.5 seconds – so it's certainly no slouch. Expect a base 250bhp version at the launch, followed by a badged RenaultSport version with 300bhp at a later date. Power will almost certainly be channeled through a a dual-clutch gearbox.

Inside, the car will boast an ultra high tech interior with a slight retro edge. Expect high quality materials such as real leather and carbon fibre, but pared down to reflect the car's light weight.

The Alpine Vision Concept is expected to go on sale midway through 2017, initially only in Europe. However, as Alpine will operate almost as a standalone brand, a return to America for the road car has not been ruled out. One report even suggests it will eventually be available across five continents. The price in Europe will be aligned with the Alfa 4C and Porsche Cayman, and will likely be from around $60,000.

Over the next 12 months the Alpine team will focus on building the road car from this concept, with official sources saying the focus will be on "weight, handling, agility and attention to detail." Priorities will also include building out the team and the network. Then, finally, to pursue racing.

In fact, the current Signatech-Alpine Racing Team has already won two European endurance championships, and won the LMP2 class in the World Endurance Championship last year in Shanghai. This year, the team will enter two Alpine LMP2 cars in the World Endurance Championship, including Le Mans. All of which means you should have plenty of opportunity to see exactly what it's capable of before getting the chance to own one yourself next year...

For more automotive thrills, check out our rundown of 10 of the Best Hot Hatchbacks.

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