Renault’s born-again Alpine division has introduced its first sports car in more than two decades. Called A110, the model is scheduled to make its public debut next week at the Geneva Auto Show.
The modern-day A110 is significantly inspired by the striking Vision concept shown last year during an event in Monaco. Key retro-inspired styling cues like the lights, the shape of the hood, and the wraparound rear window have made the transition from concept to production with only minor tweaks. The design is markedly inspired by emblematic Alpine models like the original A110 and the A108, but it’s not full-on retro like the Fiat 500 and the Volkswagen Beetle.
Pictures of the interior haven’t been released yet. Similarly, Alpine isn’t ready to publish technical information, so what powers the A110 is still a hot topic of debate. However, British magazine Autocar believes the coupe will use a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine derived from the unit that powers the Clio R.S. It allegedly makes 250 horsepower in its most basic state of tune, although sources within the company indicate a 300-horsepower model will be added to the lineup a few months into the production run.
The coupe is expected to hit 60 mph from a stop in about 4.5 seconds thanks in part to the widespread use of aluminum in its construction. The engine is mid-mounted, not rear-mounted like in the A110 of the 1960s. Rear-wheel drive is the only available configuration, but whether a manual transmission is available is anyone’s guess at this point.
The A110 is aimed squarely at the Porsche 718 Cayman, and it’s shaping up to be a worthy adversary — at least on paper. In comparison, the base Cayman is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 300 horsepower, and it hits 60 mph from a stop in 4.9 seconds. Numbers only tell part of the story; we’ll have to wait until the A110 hits the market to find out if Renault has truly built a Porsche beater.
With Porsche power comes a Porsche price, and the A110 will cost between €55,000 and €60,000 (approximately $58,000 and $64,000). Deliveries of the launch edition model — named Première Édition — will kick off before the end of the year.