When someone mentions the words "French sportscar" then the only thing that pops up to my mind is the somewhat awkward-looking at not-so-exciting Peugeot RCZ. Sorry Peugeot, but that's the truth. However, that's about to change, as Renault has revived the Alpine brand and now we got some proper information on this Alpine A110 being reborn, and so far it looks exciting. Here are the headlines:
It's good looking
Do not argue. It is a beautiful looking car. Obviously they have taken the classic-look is good
philosophy as the new A110 looks pretty much the same as the original Alpine A110 from the 60s. However, their modern interpretation of the French classic is really rather beautiful. The curves are lovely and the side profile is really compact yet elegant. It's striking to look at yet easy on the eyes. Simply beautiful, that is, until you get to the back.
Yes, the rear of the car looks a bit like a squashed Audi A4, probably because of those headlights which are pretty much the same shape of that of the Audi A4. I guess the key is to not look at the back of the car? I'm also not a fan of the mid-mounted exhaust, I think smaller sportscars look better with a dual exhaust setup.
With an alumunium construction, a pair of one-piece bucket seats by Sabelt, as well as tiny 18-inch wheels as standard, the Alpine A110 is light and curb weight stands at 1080kg, around 300kg less than a Cayman that's fitted with the PDK option. As someone who owns a classic Mini, I can guarantee you that lightness is good and usually means more fun if done right. The thing is, this French sportscar needs to be light, as I will explain in the next point. Yes, that is an awesome segway.
247 horsepower from a 1.8L Renault engine
Even though Volkswagen has announced that their downsizing days are over, it seems everyone else apart from Mazda and Lotus is still doing just that. Porsche opted for a turbocharged four-pot unit for the new 718 Boxster and Cayman, and Renault has adopted their 1.8L turbocharged unit as well for the Alpine A110, which produces 247 horsepower. That is a pitiful amount of power compared to the 718 Cayman with it's 295 horsepower output, so it is a good thing that the Alpine A110 remains light.
Despite this lack of power, the Alpine A110 will still hit 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, in par with the Alfa Romeo 4C and the Caymans, apart from a PDK-equipped Cayman S.
We're indifferent about the interior
The interior looks good enough and reminds us a lot of Alfa Romeo's interior, but really there's nothing to talk about regarding the interior. The massive paddle shifters is a nice touch though.
The French hasn't been the most successful car makers in Indonesia, but so far there hasn't been any news about the Alpine A110 not reaching Indonesia, so if you do like this thing do cross your fingers hoping that they will bring it here. Although, be prepared to pay quite the premium as the Europe pricing is said to be at 58,500 for a high-spec First Edition. So, the big question, this or the Cayman?