Triple Vision

11 April 2023
Looking back at a trio of concept car models released by Norev.

Since its creation back in the mid-1950s, Alpine has become a legend. With its light, agile, efficient and elegant sports cars, Alpine has consistently taken on, and often defeated, the most powerful and prestigious automotive manufacturers in the rallying and endurance racing worlds.

The premium French sports car brand came back with a bang ten years ago, winning the five-race European Le Mans Series endurance championship with its A450 in 2013. Ahead of its return to road car manufacture with the launch of the reimagined A110 in 2016, the company worked with the hugely-popular Gran Turismo video game franchise to create something a bit special for the game's 6th incarnation, designed specifically for Sony's PlayStation 4 console.

Alpine designed a futuristic racing car concept – the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo. The sleek and distinctive vehicle, developed exclusively for this world-famous vehicle simulation game, was created by the same dedicated designers and engineers who are working on the future road car production model. The Alpine Vision Gran Turismo, in its own distinctive way, features all the ingredients found in the successful Alpine designs over the last five decades. In the rear body styling, there is a nod to cars such as the A210 (the car that won the energy efficiency class at the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours), the A442B (overall winner of the 1978 Le Mans 24 Hours) and the A450 (the 2013 ELMS champion). Players of all ages could admire the car’s original, low-slung flanks, redolent of lightness and aerodynamics. The richness of the creative details can be seen in the side air brakes too. The Alpine Vision Gran Turismo even discreetly features a few traits of secret inspiration that echoed the future production model. The car could be found in three different colour schemes in the game – blue, black or white.

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Needless to say, there was a modelling opportunity to be had. And it should come as no surprise that one of France’s top model manufacturers, Norev, would rise to the challenge and come up with the goods. Released in 1/43 scale, Norev opted to release all three colourways in quick succession from 2015 – white first (No 517845), then blue (517846) and black (517847). The models capture all the details and the incredible styling of this amazing concept racer really well indeed. The body is diecast and this is mounted on a plastic base with moulded plastic wheels. The model features all the futuristic details of the real thing (one full size 'show car' was made).

Originally retailing at £29.99 each, these can still be found on the likes of ebay, but they are few and far between, with the white version commanding around twice that, the black car easily into lower-level triple figures and the blue version seems to be incredibly scarce – so much so that I couldn’t find one for sale when I searched recently. Thankfully, I bought them all when they were first released – and I’m so glad I did. Time to fire up my PS4...