Born again

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Motoring -

En­thu­si­ast buy­ers are lin­ing up for Re­nault’s long-awaited re­born Alpine A110 high-per­for­mance coupe, with the Aus­tralian arm of the French brand al­ready re­ceiv­ing about 30 firm ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from a sup­ply bank of 54 ve­hi­cles that are sched­uled to ar­rive in the fi­nal quar­ter.

Early de­mand looks set to out­strip sup­ply, with Re­nault Aus­tralia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor An­drew Moore re­veal­ing the lo­cal al­lo­ca­tion for next year would be be­tween 100 and 110 units.

Mr Moore is clearly de­lighted in the re­sponse to the A110 from en­thu­si­asts, deal­ers and prospec­tive buy­ers – some of whom are plan­ning to race the ve­hi­cle – es­pe­cially given the com­pany has de­voted only lim­ited re­sources to its pro­mo­tion at this stage.

He said the com­bi­na­tion of her­itage, lim­ited al­lo­ca­tion, high spec­i­fi­ca­tion and sheer value for money com­pared with ri­vals such as the Porsche Cay­man – pric­ing for the A110 is ex­pected to start from about $95,000, plus on­road costs – would add to the unique­ness and to the ap­peal.

As such, deal­ers and com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tives are up­beat about the im­pend­ing ar­rival of the all-new coupe, which will be sold through only a se­lect num­ber of out­lets – likely one each in Mel­bourne and Syd­ney – that will be separate from Re­nault-brand re­tail space and of­fer a pre­mium level of cus­tomer ser­vice.

Mr Moore said the com­pany planned to fly cus­tomers from other states to ei­ther the Mel­bourne or Syd­ney deal­er­ship to take de­liv­ery of their A110, which then al­lowed them to em­bark on a road trip back home.

“We’re look­ing at prob­a­bly a Mel­bourne and Syd­ney re­tail model, but what we’re go­ing to do to as­sist in that re­gard, is we will move cars around in­ter­state, giv­ing peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to test-drive them,” he said.

“And then what we will most likely do is if some­one buys it from in­ter­state, we will fly them in to Mel­bourne or Syd­ney so they can pick up their car and drive back home as part of their pur­chase.

“The fly-in one is the one that I’m ex­cited about be­cause I think that’s a ben­e­fit of hav­ing a smaller net­work. That’s the plan – and I’d say it’s pretty much what we’ll do.”

Mr Moore said the com­pany was also study­ing other is­sues such as ser­vic­ing fa­cil­i­ties for those who pur­chased the ve­hi­cle out­side New South Wales or Vic­to­ria.

As an­nounced late last year, the A110 will be launched in a sin­gle level of spec­i­fi­ca­tion based on the Pre­miere Edi­tion in Europe.

Ar­riv­ing di­rect from Alpine’s fac­tory in Dieppe, France, the A110 will cut a strik­ing pose with its clas­sic pro­por­tions, sculp­tural body­work, 18inch Otto Fuchs forged al­loy wheels, Brembo brak­ing pack­age, quar­tet of full-led day­time run­ning lights, Xshaped LED tail-lights and, in­side, a min­i­mal­ist cock­pit with struc­tural alu­minium, matte car­bon-fi­bre de­tail­ing and Sa­belt sports seats among the high­lights.

The small, aero­dy­namic and ul­tra­lightweight A110 has an all-alu­minium con­struc­tion and tips the scales at just over a tonne, 1080kg, en­abling the two-door ‘berlinette’ – which fea­tures a mid-mounted 185kw-320nm 1.8-litre turbo-four en­gine driv­ing the rear wheels via a seven-speed du­al­clutch au­to­matic trans­mis­sion – to reach 100kmh from stand­still in just 4.5 sec­onds. Top speed is elec­tron­i­cally lim­ited to 250kmh.

Chas­sis dy­nam­ics are a ma­jor point of em­pha­sis with the A110, which is un­der­pinned by a dou­ble-wishbone sus­pen­sion front and rear and has a 44:56 per­cent front-rear weight dis­tri­bu­tion. Three driv­ing modes are also avail­able, nor­mal, sport and track.

Ex­act Aus­tralian pric­ing and spec­i­fi­ca­tion will be con­firmed closer to launch.

• New en­try-level Q1 cross­over could be added to Audi SUV range by 2020 – Page 29

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.