By on May 25, 2012

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.

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14 Comments on “Renault Revives The Berlinette, Maybe...”

  • avatar

    “But then, Renault most likely did not go to all the trouble of building the prototype for purely sentimental reasons.”

    Of course they didn’t, but all the mechanicals are identical to the Renault Mégane Trophy race car, which (unlike the tires) is not road legal. I know I’m cutting corners by saying this, but when all’s said and done, this is a silhouette put on a chassis, no more, no less. Unless Renault wants to market this car as a track-only toy or does intend to use this platform for a small-series road legal Alpine car, I can’t see how this is supposed to be a ‘grandson’ of the Alpine A110 it takes its name from.

  • avatar

    I think I remember driving something like this in one of the more ridiculous NFS games. It had sick ground effects, yo.

  • avatar

    A nice concept … if only they hadn’t forgotten to include side windows!

  • avatar
    Robert Gordon

    “Alpine is to Renault what M is to BMW.”

    I respectfully disagree. Renault’s version of ‘M’ is Renault-Sport (although this is something of an insult to Renault, since Renault Sport is a far more successful outfit than M in terms of racing accolades).

    The BMW analogue for Alpine is Triumph, or perhaps Riley – Latent brands with a rich racing heritage.

  • avatar

    The original Alpine 110 was a very fun car to drive,
    I bet this one could also be given those specs.
    The lack of electronic assistance makes it very true to pure driving, not for XBox pilots.
    It would be interesting to see it on production and on the streets.

    • 0 avatar

      Although I’m too young to have driven it, and have never seen one in person, I’ve always read all kinds of good things about the Willys Interlagos. That was a Brazilian engineered knock-off on the Alpine 108. It was an official knock-off by the way as, in an interesting historical twist, Willys-Overland do Brasil and Renault collaborated on many projects at the very beginning of our auto industry back in the 50s and 60s. The Renault Dauphine and Gordini offered back then were IIRC built by Willys for Renault.

      • 0 avatar

        Oi Marcello
        Actually I drove one property of one relative, it was not new back then (in the late 70s), the car shared the drivetrain of the R8 TS, which made it fast for that era, my Uncle’s car needed restoration and he gave up on it years later.
        Nowdays you can look for a few Alpines on the net, their resale price is very high, one was listed at $180,000 MXP on Mercado Libre.
        Curious thing, a month ago I saw a pristine Gordini 60 near home, couldn´t talk to the owner but the car looked in very good shape. I bet it had the 1,200cc engine.

    • 0 avatar

      Alpine are for real, hence the price.

      As for Gordini, m dad had one. Like the propaganda said: 40hp of emotion!

      Ah, those were the days

  • avatar

    No offense meant, but your description of Alpine is quite off the mark. As already pointed out by another commenter, it is especially not Renault’s M division. It only ever put its name on a pedestrian Renault once: that was the Renault 5 Alpine (N/A or Turbo).

    It all started with an independant guy, Jean Rédélé, preparing sports cars based on Renault running gear, with specific chassis and body. A few models, then came the A110, which enjoyed such motorsport successes (rallying, mostly) that it attracted Renault enough to overtake Alpine, progressively.
    But it appeared rapidly that Renault did not really know how to handle the brand: they competed (and won) Le Mans, slapped the badge on a city car, created GT cars that did not enjoy a lot of success, all the while developing its own sports division, Renault Sport. A company and marketing mess that ended naturally in the end of the Alpine brand.
    Some stupid marketing guru recently got the Gordini “brand” out of its dusty box, all for the worse (slapped on diesel Twingos). I’m very afraid of what could happen to Alpine. They should make drivers cars, and competition, while leaving the engine department and the hot hatches to Renault Sport. But I don’t think the marketing gurus could be content with only that and not messing with their new old toy.

  • avatar
    word is bond

    Of only the wheels were a couple inches shorter, this thing would be gorgeous. Imagine it with 18inchers and smaller arches in the front.

  • avatar

    That thing must be making peak power at around 9000 rpm. What a great sound!

  • avatar

    Hi Marcelo,
    I have also lusted after an Interlagos. Curiously, the Alpine was made also in Mexico and Bulgaria.

    I would consider Alpine relationship to Renault similar to Abarth and Fiat.


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