Geneva ’17. Alpine A110

Production-ready Alpine A110 gets set to take on the Porsche 718 Cayman following its unveil at the Geneva Motor Show

Renault has unveiled the new Alpine A110 at the Geneva Motor Show, re-igniting its Alpine sub-brand in the process after a two-decade hiatus.  

The French marque originally unveiled a concept version of the A110 back in, but Geneva marks the first time the silks have been pulled from a production-ready version of the Porsche 718 Cayman-rivalling sports car. It’s also the first time in 55 years since the ‘A110’ name has been used.

Aesthetically, the A110 sharply mirrors the Vision Concept and, to a lesser extent, the A110-50. Most notable are the curvaceous bodylines and wraparound fenders made famous by the original A110 Berlinette. Countering these retro design flourishes though are contemporary LED lighting, while the completely flat floor and aggressive diffuser highlight that aerodynamics and downforce were a priority for Renault Sport during the build (combined, these two components allow a more rapid passage of air underneath the car). Potentially a successful one too, given that there is no rear wing. Like the chassis, the bodywork is forged from aluminium to help reduce the overall weight to 1080kg, more than 300kg less than the Cayman.

Power meanwhile, all 248bhp of it, comes from a 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder which also produces 236lb ft of torque (a seven-speed automatic gearbox sends power and torque to the rear wheels). Performance-wise the new Alpine is also set to be quite sprightly, the A110’s 4.5 second 0-100kph time equal to the Alfa Romeo 4C and only one tenth slower than the Cayman. Top speed meanwhile is limited to 250kph.

Don’t be tricked into thinking though that the A110 is a flash in the pan for the newly revived Alpine brand. Renault is looking to significantly increase the 30,000 Alpines sold between 1955 and 1995, given that the global market for sports cars has now tipped 200,000. Bear in mind also that Renault has canned the Clio RS16 in the hopes of mass-production of the A110.

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