Update: Renault Alpine sportscar on the cards for SA


Renault has announced the name and two official images of its Alpine Sportscar, which is set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show and make its way to the South African market in the near future.

The Alpine sportscar has officially been given the name A110, carrying on the nameplate from the 1960s car. It reflects the timeless principles of compact size, light weight and agility that made the success of the “Berlinette”, according to Alpine.

The A110 features a full aluminium platform and upper body for weight saving and agility. Key specifications of the A110 will be announced during Alpine’s press conference at the Geneva motor show.

Earlier in 2018, Cars.co.za reported that ​Renault South Africa has been selected as one of the lucky few markets that will receive an allocation of the Alpine sportscar.

Renault resurrected the iconic Alpine brand in 2012 with design exercises such as the A110-50 and Vision Concept. The upcoming production Alpine Sportscar doesn’t have a name yet but is rumoured to be labelled the A120. This naming follows on from the iconic A110 of the ‘60s, a car which is the design inspiration for the modern rebirth. The new ‘A120’ will look quite similar to the Vision Concept once revealed officially later this year.

The iconic Alpine brand will be reborn soon. The design inspiration is unmissable.

The news, as told to us by Renault South Africa, is that “we are one of the identified markets to launch this product, however Alpine is in the very early stages of local planning.” Extremely limited numbers will be brought to SA as the whole first ‘Premiere Edition’ run consists of just 1 955 cars. The number signifies the founding year and first production of Alpine.

The Alpine A120 would make for an interesting addition to the niche/limited edition sportscar segment. Currently, the Alfa 4C commands a large price tag in SA but that might change when something like the Alpine joins the fray. If performance figures are anything to go by, the French Sportscar could be an excellent match. The Alpine runs an aluminium chassis and panels with weight reduction overall featuring high on the priority list during the sportscar’s development. There are loads of small touches and throwbacks to the original car such as the obvious front foglights and nose ridge. The less subtle ones include a chronograph style stopwatch on the dash that harks back to the Alpine rally car.

Performance figures have already been released. The 4-cylinder turbocharged engine sits in the middle of the car and pushes it to 100 kph in 4.5 seconds. No power figures have been released but it’s likely the Renault Clio RS 1.6-litre engine will do the graft in the Alpine. There’s a shift-by-wire system for the gearshift paddles, which allows for more space along the transmission tunnel – something many sportscars neglect.

The interior looks to be far more luxurious than a lightweight sportscar is usually adorned with – stitched leather meets Alcantara and brushed aluminium. The digital instrument cluster can be configured by the driver and there’s even an option to display the old school dials as they were in the A110 rally car.

According to the chief designer Antony Villain this Vision Concept you see in the images above is 80 per cent of what the final car will look like. He notes that items such as the super thin wing mirrors and fancy touch sensitive door handles will be replaced by more ‘everyday’ units.

In all likelihood, the Alpine (possibly to be called A120) will only make it to SA in 2018. Orders are open to Europeans at the cost of around 60 000 Euros. A basic estimate would mean a local price somewhere between R800 000 and R1 million.

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