The sport car brand Alpine is finally back, and with a bang!
‘Alpine’ had been for decades a designation for the sporty versions of lowly Renault cars, but it is once again a standalone brand, one poised to take on the likes of Porsche and other premium European sports car brands.
Seeing as most of you outside of Europe have no idea of what Alpine is, allow us to enlightenment you just a bit. Click next to find out the Top 10 coolest facts about the …
1. A Blast From the Past
Alpine is a sub-brand of French automaker Renault, and the A110 isn’t an entirely new model designed and built in a vacuum. Rather, it is the spiritual successor to the A110 Berlinette that dominated international rally events during the 1960s and ended production in 1977.
In fact, the Berlinette was the when the World Rally Championship formed in 1973.
The last time a real, standalone Alpine model was produced was back in 1984!
2. The Good Kind of Funky
Speaking of the original A110, it’s very clear where the new model gets its funky looks from. It is unapologically-retro like the Volkswagen Beetle and we love it!
The distinct hood shape, quad headlights and L-shaped line that runs along the sides are all a callout to the
of the original A110.
There interior is simple in its design and layout but is available with a comprehensive suite of safety and convenience features that you would expect in a modern car.
Leave it to those strange French to deliver a weird but inoffensive design…
3. Targets Locked
It will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the competition, especially the seemingly .
Which sports car would you choose if you had the money?
4. Small, Light and Very Aluminium
Like the Porsche Cayman, Alfa Romeo 4C and Audi TT, the A110 is a small sports car — very small, some might say. It’s probably the last thing you want for your family of four.
Unlike the Cayman, 4C and TT, however, it (aluminum) in its construction. The lightweight material is used both in the chassis and most of the bodywork in an effort to minimize weight and boost overall performance on and off the track.
In fact, thanks to all that aluminum, the A110 weighs approximately 1100 kilograms (2425lbs) — more precisely, 1,080kg (2,380lbs) with no options fitted — hence its name. It is put together by Renault’s best crew.
5. Engine in the Middle
Jumping to the heart of the matter, the original Alipine cars had rear-mounted engines sourced from Renault. This Alpine has its engine — a turbocharged 1.8 liter engine that produces 247 horsepower and 236 lb-ft (320Nm) of peak torque in its basic state of tune and some 300 horses in a high-strung tuning — planted at its center, similar to the Porsche Cayman and Alfa Romeo 4C.
Such an arrangement optimizes the car’s weight distribution and center of gravity, improving handling. It has an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 231hp/tonne.
6. No Manual, Only Automatic
Bad news for lovers of the stick shift — unfortunately, the Alpine A110 doesn’t come with a manual transmission. The engine comes exclusively paired with a seven-speed double-clutch automatic transmission featuring paddle shifters and specifically-tailored gear ratios.
Does that break your heart? Should I call doctor?
Power is delivered to the rear wheels via an electronically controlled locking differential.
7. It’s Pretty Fast
A lightweight body combined with a capable engine and transmission means the A110 can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.5 seconds, putting it in great company with the competition.
For comparison, the Alfa Romeo 4C goes to 60 in around 4.2 seconds, while the Cayman does the deed in a slightly more leisurely 4.7 seconds.
It has an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h)
8. Almost Part British
Development of the Alpine A110 hasn’t been a smooth one. The sports car was between Renault and British sports car specialist Caterham, but the partnership ended shortly after it was made official in 2012.
Why can’t the British and the French just can’t seem to get a long?
9. Home Sweet Home
Alpine will build the new A110 at in the French city of Dieppe, the company’s home since inception. The first 1955 cars off the production line will be the limited Premier edition models, a figure that pays tribute to the year Alpine was founded by founded by Frenchman Jean Rédélé and started building cars.
The Alpine A110 might very well be 100 percent French, or at least close to it.
10. Pray for North America
Although the original A110 was built Mexico in addition to Europe, Alpine has long been a Euro-focused brand, which means the new A110 will likely not be offered in North American or most other market outside of Europe for that matter, at least not initially.
In all, the sports car will be available in 13 countries, including Japan of all places.
There is a possibility, however, that North American could get some of that funky French love. Thanks to Renault’s alliance with Nissan, the A110 might eventually cross the Atlantic to be .
Keep your fingers crossed…