You can't really compare the BRZ to a 4C/Lotus. The MR2 comparison is more apt. The thing with the BRZ is that a year or two ago, some auto writers decided to write that it wasn't selling well, but if you look at actual sales of it (combined with the near-identical Toyota), the sales are still very good - they've been out, mostly unchanged, for over four years now, and last year they still outsold (usually by a wide margin) every other "sporty" car except the musclecars (Mustang/Challenger/Camaro), BMW 2-series, Corvette, WRX/STI, and GTI. If you combine the Miata and Fiat 124, those outsell the BRZ/86 by a few hundred, but the 124 has that first-year bump. (Details here
if you care.) That counts as a success in my book for such a tiny little RWD sports car. It doesn't hurt that really, there is nothing that competes with it directly. The closest is the Miata/Fiat 124. The BRZ is brilliant in its own way because you can
drive it every day and get the fun sports car feel, yet still carry your kids in the back seat (as I do) and have a reliable car that costs very little to run. It could use another 30-40 hp but it's certainly not unbearable as is. I have more fun driving it every day than my last STI, where I would barely touch the throttle in most circumstances because it was so fast.
The very real problem is that sports car sales are pretty lousy no matter what and that's unlikely to change, especially traditional lightweight manual-transmission ones. Sport compacts have laid waste to the sports car market. It would be great to see the Alpine here, but in the USA (generally speaking), 1) nobody cares about Renault, 2) nobody cares about rallying, 3) nobody especially cares about RWD rally heritage, and 4) the Alpine sales would probably make the 4C look like a Camry. Renault has no real reason to bother even trying to bring it here.
Do you think the BRz would be more sucessful if there was a wrx turbo version also?
We agree it owns its segment.
What would the alpine need to own its segment and move into consistent sales. Something beyond rally heritage, something beyond golf R performance on street, somehting beyond what an elise offers, somethign so compellign how could you not choose to buy one.
What will it offer above an elise to drive. Its unlikely to have quite the same purity of experience. Well for sure its more grown up than an elsie, more a "real" car. But its also going to need a quantitative performance leap, not just some fakey doo 0-60 because it has paddles.
maybe I am just projecting my wants. The alpine as it is, seems nice but not compelling. A regular 991 porche is nice but not compelling to me either. A cayman Gt4 is more compelling and a Gt4 with Gt3 motor which is coming as an rs seems very compelling.
The alpine with 350hp which a turbo 1.8 should have, and possibly a stick seems very/most compelling. Thing is after 1 year of sales pure (and slowish) cars loose steam fast. The flaw is in lack of compelling performance to go with that purity, because a pure car will always need to sell to the driving enthusiasts after year 1, and what compells them to buy your car as opposed to someone elses.
Or put another way, I already have a NA elise, I love its sweetness and purity. What would compel me to buy a 4c or an alpine. Simply put they will need the purity of the lotus(or something close) they will need to be enaging to drive, have superlative manners and responses(alfa fail) and with a healthy power upgrade. Now a porche cayman, I dont think it has the purity, maybe a future Gt4 RS does, but even then its 3000lbs at least and its not yet in existance.
But like many here I like a light car, 2500lbs already seems pushing it. The renault has the lowish weight, unlike alfa I believe they will have the handling down, now it needs the rest of the package.
But hey its year 1, maybe they will develop further versions of it, and maybe we'll be lucky and nissan will import it as a halo machine, lord knows they need that.
Seems like these days euro cars have the same or stricter emissions than we do, so that should not be an insurmountable issue. Then its airbags and crash tests which can be a big issue.
The other alternative is if alpine is considered a seperate manufacturer. Possibly then less than 350 can be sold as emissions but not dot compliant under the new componant car rules. All, thats needed is to say its resembles a historic a 110. Long shot I know. Who knows maybe there is an opportunity here.
Cool car, hopefully they develop it firtehr and hopefully one day we can get that version here. I know I am in.