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Geneva: Alpine A110 adds sport to Renault

Lightweight mid-engined sports car due in 2018.

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Renault has chosen the shadow of the Alps for its revival of a renowned sports car line – the long-awaited Alpine A110 debuts at the Geneva Motor Show.

The new Alpine is a mid-engined, two-seater sports coupe which its makers say remains true to the spirit of previous Alpine models and particularly the A110 ‘Berlinette’ last made in 1977.

A riveted, bonded and welded aluminium bodyshell helps the Alpine A110 weigh in at just 1080kg – its power-to-weight ratio bettering the Porsche Cayman which is expected to be a prime rival. The Alpine is a compact car, measuring up at 4178mm long, 1798mm wide and only 1252mm high.

Handling-friendly weight distribution of 44/56% front to back concentrates the most mass between the wheels – the engine sits behind the driver and the fuel tank ahead, behind the front axle.

Turbocharged power

Power comes from a Renault Sport developed four-cylinder turbo unit of 1.8 litres. It offers 252hp with 320Nm of torque and is combined with a seven-speed DCT transmission. Alpine says that the A110 will return a 4.5-second 0-62mph time, long with an electronically limited 155mph top speed.

Three driving modes are on offer, changing the parameters of the engine, transmission, steering and Electronic Stability Control, along with the exhaust note to suit Normal, Sport or Track settings. The cockpit display reflects the mode selected.

Blue Alpine A110 on display at the Geneva Motor Show
The Alpine attracted a lot of attention in Geneva. Photo: Andrew Charman

Aerodynamics include a flat floor and a rear bumper diffuser. Air inlets in the front bumper create a curtain along the front wheel wells, improving air flow around the wheels and cutting drag – The A110’s Cd value of 0.32 is claimed to be among the lowest in its sector.

The Alpine A110 is to be built in a bespoke factory in Dieppe, France and first UK deliveries are expected in 2018. The first 1,955 examples, celebrating the year that original Alpine was launched, will be dubbed ‘Premiere Edition’ models with bespoke styling and equipment and each carrying a numbered plaque. Alpine will then launch further specifications when this run is concluded.

UK prices are yet to be revealed – French prices have been announced at €58,500. This equates to around £50,600 but does not take account of local taxation levels.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.