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.
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