If you tend to keep informed about motoring news, you will have seen it already. The new Renault Alpine A110-50 concept has been all over the news the past week and with every particle of incremental news unveiled about it I loved it more.
Renault’s own tuning division, Renault Sport, located in the town of Dieppe nowadays produces the Mégane and Clio RS models. Feisty buggers that have been kept clean and racy, without disappointing compromises. I’d pick either of them over any competitor and not just because they’re so nicely priced as well.
But in 1973, when Renault bought the factory, Dieppe was producing Alpines – not the flowers, cars! Alpine, formed in 1955, was a manufacturer of sports cars and used Renault models (at first) and engines and components to make them. Through the years they made many a great looking automobile, but the most famous one is the Alpine A110, a.k.a. Berlinette. It first came to market in 1961, at which time there was a choice of two 1.1L four cylinder engines, the strongest of which delivered a “stunning” 95 horsepower. That may not seem like much, but do consider that it only weighed 1,777 pounds.
Alpine produced the model until 1977 and more engines came available through the years. It celebrated many rally successes, until finally it was replaced by the A310. Renault discontinued the Alpine brand in 1995 and Dieppe focussed on tuning normal Renaults into road molesters. But perhaps that will soon change. Renault has expressed it’s considering to restart the Alpine name, to produce sports cars with an exclusive edge and what better place to build those than where it all started?
The new Alpine is, as said, a concept car and will be presented to the public at the Monaco F1. The official specs will be revealed as well, but what is known already is that it’s powered by a 3.5L V6 engine, pumping 400 chevaux. That’s a lot more than the 95 its ancestor did!
Not 50, as the name implies, but 51 years after the first introduction of the A110, Renault presents the Alpine A110-50 and with that the buzz that Renault may indeed resurrect the Alpine brand grows stronger.