France Hits Back at Germany, Opens Orders for Resurrected Alpine Brand

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Dormant since 1995, Alpine is re-opening shop and taking reservations for its “Première Édition” — an exclusive version of its forthcoming rival to the Porsche 718.

In 2012, Renault announced plans to join forces with British track car wizard Caterham to develop a new platform for a shared sports car for Alpine and Caterham (think Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86). Seemingly disinterested in making anything even remotely useful off-track, Caterham abandoned Alpine to carry on with the project alone.

After dropping the Vision Concept earlier this year, Renault is now ready to take orders for the unnamed, A110-inspired Alpine model and officially bring the French performance brand back from the grave.

However, this first run of mid-engined vehicles will be restricted to 1,955 cars — a reference to the year the Alpine brand was first established and the 4CV-based A106 began production.

“Alpines made such a mark because of the elegance of their designs, their nimble handling and their memorable successes in world class motor racing and rallying,” Alpine’s Managing Director Michael van der Sande said in an official statement. “The interest that the announcement of Alpine’s return has generated across the globe inspired us to give sports car enthusiasts and Alpine fans early opportunity to reserve the new car.”

“The Première Édition versions of the new model will be the first to come off the line and we wanted to allow Alpine fans to choose the number of their car.”

Presumably, 0001 and 0069 are already spoken for. Although, if you have 2,000 euros, you can reserve one of the other numbers. Apparently incapable of settling on a price, Alpine says the French-specification A120 Première Édition will come in between €55,000 and €60,000.

For that money you don’t know exactly what you are getting, as the production model hasn’t been officially revealed yet. Renault hasn’t even given it a name, although inside sources have strongly suggested it will continue its traditional nomenclature and dub it the A120.

Camouflaged images of the first edition show that it should be very similar in appearance to the Alpine Vision Concept. Renault also treated us with a lovely video featuring three prototypes dancing around a skidpad together.

From a standstill, the A120 only takes 4.5 seconds to reach 62 mph (100 kph) — placing it within striking range of a manual transmission Porsche Boxster S. What type of powertrain makes that possible is unknown, but rumors suggest something out of the Renault Sport Mégane or possibly a new 1.8-liter Nissan-sourced turbo four.

If you trust Alpine’s judgement on drivetrains, reservations can be made now using the custom app downloadable from Alpine’s official website. The only catch is that you must live in either Europe or Japan.

[Images: Renault]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Corey Lewis The short truck is terrible. The tire blocks all rear visibility while making the tiny bed very tricky to access. And the wheels on it look like they're from 2002. Other than that, I really like the idea of the Grenadier and it seems like a good effort. I wouldn't buy one because of the tractor recirculating ball steering, which makes it terrible in everyday use.
  • Bjohnson10 Coast to Coast by the Jesus and Mary Chain. It's only about someone on a cross-country motorcycle trip while high on heroin.
  • Funky D A few from my road trip playlist: Eddie Rabbitt - Drivin' My Life AwayAmerica - Ventura Highway---Herb Alpert - Route 101Jerry Reed - East Bown and DownEddie Money - Shakin'Lindey Buckingham - Holiday RoadWar - Low RiderTears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Not a driving song per se, but if you've seen the video, you'll get it)Wang Chung - Wait (Gotta see the end credits of "To Live and Die in LA", for this one)
  • Ronin Or can sedans be saved from themselves? Modern sedans have very low entry and seating, and unnecessarily downward sloping rear roofs. This may have been a sleek design center 25 years ago, but it's nice to have an alternative to SUVs for the olds (ie, anyone over 30).
  • Bd2 The Hyundai Sonota is the best sedan on the market right now.
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