Alpine is back from the dead, in a way. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Alpine A110 Berlinette, Renault today unveiled the Renault Alpine A110-50. Alpine may be back, but only as a zombie: Officially, the A110-50 is a concept only.
For a concept, is has real world parameters.
- The engine is a Renault V4, a 3.5 liter 24-valve 400hp V6 mounted in mid-rear position, mated to a semi-automatic six-speed sequential gearbox. Fresh air comes through a carbon air intake borrowed from the Mégane Trophy V6. Weight distribution is 47.8 percent over the front wheels and the rest over the rear.
- To stop the car, the brakes use 356mm-diameter steel discs and six-piston calipers in the front and 330mm/four-piston in the back. The 21 inch wheels are fitted with street-legal Michelins.
- The wheelbase of the Renault Alpine A110-50 is identical to the Mégane Trophy (2,625mm), the track is slightly wider at 1,680mm front and 1,690mm rear.
- Renault proudly mentions that “driving aids like ABS, traction control, etc. are not fitted.”
Alpine is to Renault what M is to BMW. Alpine has more history and fewer cars. Alpine converted Renault cars into sports cars. 1973, the company was bought by Renault. In 1996, the Alpine brand was put in suspended animation, Renault made its few sports cars under its own brand.
Rumors of an Alpine revival had surfaced several times, only to be quashed later. Spokesfolk in Paris won’t say whether a revived Berlinette will see series production. Renault is sitting on the fence by calling the car or concept and a prototype at the same time. But then, Renault most likely did not go to all the trouble of building the prototype for purely sentimental reasons.