1990s / French / Renault-Alpine / Sunday classic

Sunday classic: Alpine A610 Turbo Magny-Cours

Much to Renault’s chagrin, the Alpine A610 was never as popular as its predecessors were. To add insult to injury, a good part of the car’s clientele was located outside of its home country in places like the United Kingdom and Germany. Renault had to find a way to get the French public excited about the Alpine brand again.

By the early 1990s Alpine was no longer active in motorsports, which hurt its image among enthusiasts all around Europe.  In order to associate the brand with racing Renault created a special edition of the A610 Turbo to commemorate the victory of the Renault Williams Formula 1 team at the French Grand Prix in 1991. The race was held on the iconic Magny-Cours circuit in France so it seemed fitting to christen the car A610 Turbo Magny-Cours.

Launched in June of 1992, the A610 Turbo Magny-Cours stood apart from the regular A610 Turbo thanks to a model-specific shade of dark green and discreet Magny-Cours decals on both doors. The alloy wheels were painted in the same shade of green as the body and the front fog lights were yellow, giving the car a sinister look that led some period journalist to call it a street-legal Batmobile..

The Magny-Cours wasn’t cheap so help justify the increase in price it came standard with leather upholstered bucket seats, floor mats and a CD player. A dash-mounted plaque and a dark green instrument cluster reminded the passenger and the driver that they weren’t traveling aboard a standard A610 Turbo.

Unfortunately no mechanical modifications were carried out and the Magny-Cours was powered by the same rear-mounted turbocharged 3.0-liter 90° V6 that was found in the standard A610 Turbo. It was sent 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission.  Those statistics were enough to propel the sleek coupe from zero to 62 in 6.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 164 miles per hour.

In 1992 the A610 Magny-Cours carried a base price of 449,000 francs. For the sake of comparison a standard A610 Turbo sold for 416,500 that same year.

Although Renault claims that only 30 examples of the Magny-Cours were built, most historians agree that the real number is 31. In spite of its rarity, the Magny-Cours steadily dropped in value over the course of the 1990s and often ended up in uncaring hands, making well-preserved examples hard to find and desirable today.

One thought on “Sunday classic: Alpine A610 Turbo Magny-Cours

  1. Pingback: Sunday classic recap | Ran When Parked

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