Think of it as a French safari-spec (Porsche) Cayman. For its A110 SportsX crossover concept, Renault's sportscar subsidiary Alpine drew inspiration from its competition-car history.
It might appear the antithesis of everything that Renault’s revival of the Alpine brand is supposed to represent, but the SportsX is purported to be a modern reinterpretation of the original A110 rally car.
Although the Alpine A110 is classed as one of the purest sportscars in the market, with a mid-engined configuration and low kerb weight, even Renault’s performance vehicle engineers realise that crossovers are the hottest ticket in town.
To appease the surging trend for vehicles that offer additional ground clearance, for no particular (or apparent) reason, the A110 SportsX concept features a host of modifications.
Its stance is the most obvious change, with a suspension upgrade raising the A110 platform by 60 mm. That means this Alpine will ride much more comfortably when traversing gravel roads and rolling over speedbumps, than a standard A110, but there is, of course, also the dynamic penalty of a much higher centre of gravity.
Beyond the increased ride height, Alpine’s designers have swapped out the standard fenders for wide mouldings, which accommodate the additional wheel stroke and facilitate the option of running larger tyres. These new wheel arches add 80 mm of width to the A110 platform, with the SportsX version being appreciably wider than the car's it's based on.
A novelty upgrade for this Alpine crossover is the presence of a rear window rack carrying system, which appears to have the purpose of carrying equipment such as skis.
Like all other A110s, the SportsX concept is powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine with peak outputs of 185 kW and 320 Nm of torque.
Despite its crossover configuration and stance, the A110 SportsX is not all-wheel driven. It shifts gear via a 7-speed Getrag dual-clutch transmission, which drives the rear wheels only.
Alpine has not specified a kerb weight for its latest sportscar concept, but with the different fenders, racking system and suspension upgrade, the SportsX will certainly be a touch heavier than a factory A110’s 1 098kg.