Alpine's Drop-dead Gorgeous A110 Will Remain an Ocean Away

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
alpine s drop dead gorgeous a110 will remain an ocean away

In the immortal words of ex-fighter pilot and Boeing 707 rescuer Ted Striker, “What a pisser.”

The resurrected Alpine A110, which never seemed like it had much of a chance of making it stateside, is officially barred from American driveways. Renault’s retro, mid-engined performance stimulated saliva glands when it debuted last year as a near-match concept car, leading some to dream that a French alternative to Porsche’s Cayman could become a U.S. reality.

The late Charles de Gaulle once said that France has no friends, only interests. Well, France isn’t interested in making this American dream come true.

“At the moment we are not planning on selling the A110 in the U.S.,” Alpine CEO Bernard Ollivier told Left Lane News at the Geneva Motor Show this week.

Ollivier’s comment shouldn’t surprise anyone, as Renault hasn’t had an automotive presence in the U.S. since its 1980s dalliance with AMC. Even before this week, there had been exactly zero hints of a stateside foray. Unless, of course, the automaker’s silence hid its true intentions.

“Re-launching the brand is a big project,” the CEO said. “Right now we’re focusing on markets like Europe and Japan.”

The Alpine brand took a dirt nap in 1995, and subsequent attempts to bring the storied division back from the dead fell flat. It was parent company Renault’s decision to return the brand to prominence by recreating its most famous model, the former rally champion A110.

Weighing just over 2,400 pounds, the nearly all-aluminum A110’s sports a turbocharged 1.8-liter inline-four that’s good for 250 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Zero to 62 mph — not that you’re likely to ever experience such a dash — clocks in at 4.5 seconds.

Because of Ollivier’s loaded wording — “At the moment…” — faint hope probably still burns in many hearts.

[Image: Renault]

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  • Lutecia Lutecia on Mar 13, 2017

    We won't have it here in Ireland either. Very small volumes... but at least we can privately import these from the UK. To be honest they have already 2500 orders in, and I'm not sure about the factory output, but that should keep them busy for a while before the need to hunt for other markets. The car is of course EU compliant but not even available in half of EU countries where Renault has a network and could sell straight away. So me think these countries first where they don't need to adapt the car and maybe elsewhere later.

  • Boxerman Boxerman on Mar 13, 2017

    What other 2400lbs 250hp turboed car doesent sell, the alfa 4c. The lotsu elise at 2000lbs is still the one to beat in this lightweight pure driver car niche, and while not as refined as a 4c or maybe renault, the real buyer for these machines has performance criteria above refinement. Is that 2400lbs dry? so maybe this is really a 2600+lbs car with fluids stereo and ac. What it needs is 350Hp like mercdes has no problem getting from its turboed 4, and a maybe also a stick option for those of us who like the driving interactive experience, as in whoever may actualy buy a small lightweight car like this. Then they would be selling something you simply cant get elsewhere. Otherwise its a oool rwd hot hatch for 60K.

  • Redapple2 I d just buy one already sorted. Too many high level skills (wiring, paint, body panel fitment et. al.) that i dont have. And I dont fancy working 100 s of hours for $3 /hour.
  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs