Pre-Production Alpine A110 Bursts Into Flames During Top Gear Shoot

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
pre production alpine a110 bursts into flames during i top gear i shoot

Top Gear presenters Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan narrowly evaded injury when a pre-production Alpine A110 caught fire while the duo participated in last week’s Monte Carlo Rally. Apparently the two had been blasting down stage SS17 when the engine warning light came on. Sometime later, flames were seen beneath the vehicle and the two were advised to pull over immediately.

Fire crews were unable to control the blaze and the car ended up completely obliterated. Alpine and Renault have said they are conducting a full investigation to see what went wrong but are currently attributing the mishap to a “technical incident.” They are also suspending all testing of pre-production models until they can determine the true cause of the fire.

“I first realized I needed to get out when I opened the door and the flames went up my arm,” Harris explained in the BBC’s brief summary of the incident. “Sadly the car was lost and it always makes me sad to see a beautiful car destroyed.”

Both presenters said they were pleased with how the car had been performing during the test and were dismayed that it could not be saved. “Doing a stage of the Monte Carlo Rally was a dream come true for me. The car was stunning — so light on its toes. It was dancing around the mountain and Chris was driving it beautifully,” Jordan said. “It’s such a shame we didn’t finish the test, but these things happen.”

While safety crews attempted to contain the fire with handheld extinguishers, they barely impeded its swift progress. Reports cite that the A110 had burned up within four minutes. By the time the fire department arrived, roughly an hour later, there was nothing left of the car.

[Images: Renault; BBC]

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  • NeilM NeilM on Feb 05, 2018

    "I guess we know why they called it the A110" Named after the awesome original Alpine A110, winner of the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally and a number of other WRC events of the era. Dry weight given as only 1375 lb, which is why it could do 130 mph with a 1.6 litre Renault engine. Might have been a tad deficient in crash protection by today's standards, but hey...

  • CrystalEyes CrystalEyes on Feb 19, 2018

    My friend had an '82 Renault Fuego Turbo. Got it used and kept it for several years. Didn't have to do anything to it beyond routine maintainance. My sister had a Renault Caravelle. It was a cute but incredibly fragile convertible that everyone thought was one of those Aquacars. She got rid of it and got a Volvo P1800 that was only a couple of years newer than the Renault. They could hardly have been more different. The Renault was super lightweight to the point of flimsiness (the shift lever once pulled completely out in her hand), had a rear engine, and had an interior so spartan it made a VW of the same era seem sumptuous. The Volvo was heavier in every respect - it weighed more, controls required much more effort to use, doors weighed a ton, and the steering was ridiculously heavy. My MGB weighed just as much but felt like it had power steering after driving the P1800. Unlike the Renault (and to a lesser extent the MG), the Volvo was sturdy and had fewer squeaks and rattles after 20 years than many new cars of the time (mid 80s). That being said, both cars had been restored to a comparable standard and thereafter seemed to be about equally reliable; though I'm sure that would have changed had she kept the Renault, since it was nowhere near as solid. My MGB on the other hand had undergone a far more comprehensive restoration but was not as reliable as the Volvo; and it was five years newer too. So it seems to me that the Renaults weren't any better or worse in general than its contemporaries, at least from the perspective of keeping them going decades after manufacture.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
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  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
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