It's not at all unusual for carmakers to cleverly disguise their future models, especially during the early development phase when they use mules to test the platform and mechanical components. These test mules combine a body of a different model with the underpinnings of an upcoming new car, and if not always, most of the times, said body comes from the same brand or at least group (i.e. this Alfa Giulietta-bodied Jeep mule).
What's very rare is for one carmaker to hide and test a new platform under the body of a car from an unrelated company, which is what our spies claim is happening with this Alpine test mule that's wearing a Lotus Exige outfit– albeit modified with wider tracks. At this time, we cannot confirm or deny this information.
Besides the French license plates on the car, our spy photographer told us that the mule was being tested by Swedish suspension company Öhlins together with several other models from Renault Sport such as the Megane RS and Clio.
The actual production Alpine coupe that is being developed by parent company Renault and Caterham as a joint project is due to hit the market in 2016. Renault group boss Carlos Tavares has said that the as-of-yet unnamed Alpine mid-engine sports car will be similar in philosophy and possibly even pricing to the Alfa Romeo 4C. Power will likely come from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four producing somewhere around 280hp, which should be good enough for top notch performance numbers given its lightweight construction.
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoopS