Automotive

Alpine aims 250 hp turbocharged A110 directly at Porsche

Alpine aims 250 hp turbocharge...
Like father, like son? The new Alpine A110 next to the original
Like father, like son? The new Alpine A110 next to the original
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The mid-engined A110 is aimed at the Porsche Cayman
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The mid-engined A110 is aimed at the Porsche Cayman
The design of the A110 harks back to classic Alpine rally cars
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The design of the A110 harks back to classic Alpine rally cars
The brakes on the A110 don't have much weight to stop
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The brakes on the A110 don't have much weight to stop
The throwback headlamps on the Alpine A110 are meant to mimic the rally spotlights from the original
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The throwback headlamps on the Alpine A110 are meant to mimic the rally spotlights from the original
The new Alpine A110 takes on a mountain pass
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The new Alpine A110 takes on a mountain pass
The rear glass on the A110 is a delightful throwback
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The rear glass on the A110 is a delightful throwback
The A110 looks very similar to the Alpine Vision Concept
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The A110 looks very similar to the Alpine Vision Concept
The A110 is set up to have as much weight in the middle of the chassis as possible
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The A110 is set up to have as much weight in the middle of the chassis as possible
The new Alpine A110 getting sideways on a European mountain pass
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The new Alpine A110 getting sideways on a European mountain pass
The 250 hp engine in the A110 displaces just 1.8-liters 
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The 250 hp engine in the A110 displaces just 1.8-liters 
The A110 is going to be competitive with the much noisier, less refined Alfa 4C
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The A110 is going to be competitive with the much noisier, less refined Alfa 4C
The Alpine A110 will be built in Dieppe, France
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The Alpine A110 will be built in Dieppe, France
The A110 was launched at the Geneva Motor Show
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The A110 was launched at the Geneva Motor Show
The four round daytime running lights on the A110 are a shameless throwback
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The four round daytime running lights on the A110 are a shameless throwback
The A110 has a 44:56 weight distribution
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The A110 has a 44:56 weight distribution
Welcome back Alpine
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Welcome back Alpine
The hips on the A110 are bolder and wider than the classic
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The hips on the A110 are bolder and wider than the classic
The new Alpine A110
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The new Alpine A110
The Alpine A110 launched in Geneva
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The Alpine A110 launched in Geneva
Any doubt where the A110 is built?
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Any doubt where the A110 is built?
The cabin of the A110 is thoroughly high tech
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The cabin of the A110 is thoroughly high tech
The steering wheel on the A110 is compact
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The steering wheel on the A110 is compact
The plaque in the A110 denotes its significance
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The plaque in the A110 denotes its significance
The A110 is dual-clutch gearbox only
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The A110 is dual-clutch gearbox only
The A110 cabin is built around that central touchscreen
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The A110 cabin is built around that central touchscreen
The French motif in the A110 is everywhere 
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The French motif in the A110 is everywhere 
The seats in the A110 weigh just over 13 kg
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The seats in the A110 weigh just over 13 kg
Like father, like son? The new Alpine A110 next to the original
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Like father, like son? The new Alpine A110 next to the original
The aluminum chassis of the Alpine A110
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The aluminum chassis of the Alpine A110
The aluminum chassis of the Alpine A110
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The aluminum chassis of the Alpine A110
The aluminum chassis of the Alpine A110
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The aluminum chassis of the Alpine A110
The aluminum chassis of the Alpine A110
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The aluminum chassis of the Alpine A110
The seats in the new Alpine A110
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The seats in the new Alpine A110
The seats in the new Alpine A110
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The seats in the new Alpine A110
The downforce on the A110 comes courtesy of a clever rear diffuser
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The downforce on the A110 comes courtesy of a clever rear diffuser
The A110 from below
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The A110 from below

After one of the longest teases we've ever endured, Renault has fully unveiled the Alpine A110 at the Geneva Motor Show. We've known what it would look for a while now, but the French manufacturer was keeping its cards close to its chest when it came to the details everyone really wanted to know. Now, we finally have the whole picture.

At the core of the new A110 is a brand-new aluminum chassis, chosen to help cut weight. Alpine says the bonded, welded and riveted structure is just as stiff as the steel (or carbon in some cases) setups you'll find in rivals, and helps keep curb weight at a skinny 1080 kg (3280 lb) without any options. A great deal of effort has been put into concentrating weight around the middle of the car, with the fuel tank sitting behind the front axle and the engine in front of the rear axle.

Speaking of the engine, we now know the car will be powered by a new 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder. Although it was developed for service in a wide range of Renault/Nissan Alliance cars, the team at Alpine has given it a unique air intake, turbocharger, exhaust and engine map. It's hooked up to a dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox developed by Getrag, with ratios tuned specifically to match the 185 kW (250 hp) engine's torque curve.

The A110 is set up to have as much weight in the middle of the chassis as possible
The A110 is set up to have as much weight in the middle of the chassis as possible

The sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes just 4.5 seconds, making the A110 quicker than a base Porsche Cayman and on a par with the Alfa Romeo 4C.

Style is important in any sports car, but it's especially important on a car like the Alpine. After all, it's not much use playing on your heritage if the modern car doesn't look anything like the original. It's even more important when the original is a legend.

Although it was built between 1961 and 1977, the A110 is best known for its time as a rally car in the early 1970s. The little French coupe actually won the inaugural 1973 season of the World Rally Championship, making Alpine the first World Rally Champion. The brand is now owned by Renault, which is hoping to cash in on its sporting heritage with the new, retro-inspired A110.

Thankfully the design team has done a great job, taking the classic shape and smoothing it out for modern tastes. The faux-rally quad-light design at the front is instantly recognizable, and the sloping rear deck does a great job of evoking the original with its wraparound windscreen.

That same focus on history isn't replicated inside, with infotainment handled by a square central touchscreen. The driver and passenger sit on Sabelt bucket seats which weigh just 13.1 kg (29 lb) each, but the cabin isn't designed to be overtly hardcore or uncomfortable. Alpine says it should be easy to get in/out of, and won't rattle your bones loose on long trips, which is more than can be said of the rattly, unhinged Alfa 4C.

Pricing for the Alpine A110 will start at €58,500 in France, and the car won't be coming to the USA in its initial run, with Renault focusing on the European, UK and Japanese markets instead.

Source: Renault

5 comments
navmed
I like the original better.
Mayakovski
The original is a beautiful car, then new one looks just like every other sports car out there. No personality at all.
Theodore41
I like the original.I have seen this in the Acropolis Rally in 1971.Great car.
habakak
Both this and the original looks atrocious. The cars time has clearly passed. Why live in the past? Terrible looking thing.
Nicolas Zart
I remember seeing the original one as a 7-year-young kid in the 70s at my local school. It was a unique experience and never left me. I've always wanted one. Too bad Michelotti never got recognized for it, nor paid :)