French flair on show for sporty Alpine

Albany Extra - - Motoring - Ewan Kennedy

An ex­cit­ing new sports car mar­que is about to land in Aus­tralia. The very French Alpine A110 is a high­per­for­mance coupe that’s built by a di­vi­sion of Re­nault, but op­er­ates largely in its own right.

Alpine, say it a French ac­cent, “al-peen” and it sounds beau­ti­fully evoca­tive, dates back to the 1950s and has made some fas­ci­nat­ing sports ma­chines. The first A110 model came out in 1961, ran for 16 years and had vic­to­ries in many events, in­clud­ing the Monte Carlo ral­lies in the 1970s

Alpine A110 harks back to the shape of that orig­i­nal sports ma­chine, which is a first for this class. We par­tic­u­larly like the retro driv­ing lights, fluted bon­net and wrap­around rear win­dow.

Other retro cars — Fiat 500, Mini and VW New Beetle — have en­joyed a great deal of suc­cess and it will be in­ter­est­ing to see if other sports car mak­ers fol­low Alpine’s lead.

The two-seater Alpine coupe fea­tures alu­minium con­struc­tion to keep weight to a min­i­mum — only about 1100kg, de­pend­ing on model.

Alpine A110 harks back to the shape of that orig­i­nal sports ma­chine.

The A110 has ben­e­fited from the ex­per­tise of Re­nault Sport and is pow­ered by a mid-mounted 1.8litre turbo-petrol en­gine that pro­duces up to 185kW and 320Nm.

Light weight means Alpine has a zero to 100km/h time of just 4.5 sec­onds.

Alpine A110 will ini­tially be launched with three spec­i­fi­ca­tions in Aus­tralia — Aus­tralian Pre­miere Edi­tion, Pure and Le­gende.

Only 60 ex­am­ples of the Aus­tralian Pre­miere Edi­tion are be­ing im­ported, each with an in­di­vid­u­ally num­bered plaque to cel­e­brate its de­but in Aus­tralia. All are in Alpine Blue me­tal­lic paint and sit­ting on 18-inch Fuchs forged wheels. There’s a blue Alpine logo in the cen­tre of the steer­ing wheel, and blue Alpine brake cal­lipers.

In­side are alu­minium brake and ac­cel­er­a­tor ped­als and a footrest. A Fo­cal au­dio sys­tem is there if you would rather lis­ten to that than to the su­perb en­gine note we are told is very much part of the A110.

In­ter­est­ingly the Alpine A110 Pure and Le­gende mod­els have dif­fer­ent set-ups. The Pure is aimed at sporty driv­ing on wind­ing moun­tain roads. The A110 Le­gende is the grand tourer of the range, for ev­ery­day us­abil­ity.

Alpine will be sold in Aus­tralia through an ex­clu­sive net­work of ded­i­cated Alpine deal­er­ships, all staffed by specif­i­cally trained con­sul­tants. De­liv­er­ies won’t be here un­til early next year.

Pic­tures: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

The Alpine A110 has retro driv­ing lights, fluted bon­net and a wrap­around rear win­dow.

The two-seater Alpine coupe fea­tures alu­minium con­struc­tion.

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