Details of the reborn Alpine’s mid-engined A110 sports car have finally been revealed at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
The details of the production version of the Alpine A110, Renault’s revived sports car maker, have finally been announced at the 2017 Geneva motor show. They are most proud of the final weight, at 1080kg for the lightest version.
The design takes more than inspiration from the original 1960 model, but technically it is quite different in character. Rather than the old car’s rear-engined lay-out, which could be quite tricky at the limit, the 2017 A110 has its 1.8 turbocharged four-cylinder mounted in the middle. Having the engine in in front of the rear axle gives the car a more friendly weight distribution of 44% on the front and 56% on the rear.
With 250bhp, the new Renault-Nissan developed can accelerate the car to 62mph in 4.5 seconds, which is comparable to Alfa Romeo’s 4C, but slower than the 718 Cayman. Top speed is limited to the usual 155mph. Because of the low weight, it only emits 140g/km of CO2. Hardly fundamental, but it’s important with today’s road tax systems. Expect to see the engine in other performance Renault-Nissan products. The upcoming Megane RS is a likely candidate.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via a unique (or at least new) 7-speed wet-clutch DCT made by Getrag. There is no manual option, so let’s hope it’s faster and more responsive than the Clio RS’s rather mediocre double-clutch unit. Despite the recent revival of manuals, chances of there ever being a row-your-own version are slim: commercial director Régis Fricotté was dismissive of the idea, calling it a “step backwards”.
The headline 1080kg kerb weight has been achieved through extensive use of aluminium. The body is made entirely out of the material, as are the Brembo-developed brake callipers. Depending on specification, that does increase, however. The Lotus Elise Sport 220 weighs a good 100kg less, although that car is considerably more spartan. Unlike the Lotus, the A110 has a boot in the front in addition to the small luggage area in the rear, behind the engine. The Alpine has got a flat underbody and functional diffuser to avoid having to use a wing and the suspension has the optimal set-up of unequal length double wishbones all-round.
Although the Alpine A110 is a road car for now, since the 1965 original made its name as a rally car, it makes sense that there will be racing derivatives. Fricotté told Automotive that they cannot announce anything right now, but that they do “have some plans”, “after all, it is the logical step for a sports car”.
Production will start in a few months and the first cars should be delivered in continental Europe near the end of 2017, with right-hand drive versions following in 2018. While the price for the regular version has not been announced, the Première Édition, a fully loaded launch model limited to 1,995 units, has already been sold out at €58,500 apiece. Final prices for the others variations should not be wildly dissimilar, however.