Every automotive journalist has a mental list of new models they’d like to see migrate to their home country. For many residing in North America, the Alpine A110 is at the top of the page. We didn’t get the resurrected A110, which is a faithful throwback to the original model that ended production in 1977, and this has left a subset of our staff feeling a little raw.
Alpine has since unveiled a spicier build of the car, throwing some additional salt on our collective butthurt — though we’ll happily acknowledge that probably wasn’t the automaker’s intent. It seems content building a two-seat sports car France can be proud of.
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.
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.
A modern take on one of the sexiest four-cylinder cars of the 1960s will officially debut before the end of the year, and there’s a chance it will find its way to these shores.
Alpine, a reborn subsidiary of Renault, is putting the final touches on the production version of its Vision concept, a practical sports car that harkens back to the glory days of the nearly forgotten brand.
Happy Canada Day. We here in America Jr. will be spending the day in polite celebration, perhaps a few pages of a Margaret Atwood novel, perhaps a little Tom Cochrane, perhaps two or three fireworks set off in celebration of our continuing success in exiling all our worst citizens to the Los Angeles music industry; perhaps just a little self-reflection on life in a land where most of the population settles at the bottom, leaving huge expanses of airy nothingness above – less a country than a enormous family-sized bag of potato chips.
We build cars here in Canada. We make Hondas and Chevys and Fords and Dodges, and some of them we drive, and some of them you drive, but they’re not really Canadian cars, per se. The ideal of the Canadian car remains the Bricklin SV-1, Canada’s DeLorean. Neat car, that thing, with motorized gullwing doors and an integrated roll-cage. I seem to remember as a kid I had a Transformer that looked just like it. Well actually, considering the SV-1’s issues with acrylics, perhaps it was a Go-Bot.
Anyway, as today is a day for a celebration of all things maple-syrup flavoured, I’d like to take minute or two of your time and talk about a much less well-known Canadian-built car that is extremely interesting and very slightly crappy. It all starts with a man with the quite silly name of Jacques About, and before you ask, no, that is not pronounced “aboot”.
When Renault had rolled out its Alpine A110-50 a few weeks ago, the logical conclusion was that this was not just to celebrate the 50th birthday of Alpine. Today, Renault COO Carlos Tavares tells Bloomberg that Renault is thinking about bringing back Alpine as a brand for sports cars, and to create another high-end brand for luxury models in a bid to become a true global carmaker.
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.