During a significant overhaul of the Alpine A310 in the mid-1980s, Renault installed a V6 turbocharged engine and created the GTA Turbo. With its rear-engined layout, an ultra-sleek 2+2 body and a claimed top speed of 155mph, it combined old and new with some panache.
Its engine was essentially the Renault 25 Turbo’s with an intercooler, a redesigned exhaust system, modified ignition and injection and a larger sump. As a result, the 2458cc V6 put out 200bhp at 5750rpm and 210lb ft at 2500rpm.
“It is no easier to categorise than its predecessors,” David Vivian wrote in Autocar’s sister publication, Motor. “Although more confidently a ‘supercar’, it remains a dedicated and beguiling oddball – a cross, if you can imagine such a thing, between the rear-engined but effective Porsche 911 and its slicker, more practical 944 Turbo stablemate.”
Vivian travelled to the Netherlands to test a GTA on road and on track at Zandvoort, lining up a 944 Turbo for comparison. He wrote: “The new chiselnosed body – made up from glassfibrereinforced resin panels glued together and mated to the steel chassis – is both bigger and sleeker than the old A310’s. The A310 was indisputably cramped, a pretend 2+2. The new car’s cabin is roomier in all directions, with genuine ‘occasional’ seats in the back.”