There’s something distinctly Herculean about Renault’s revival of the Alpine brand.
Here’s a French sports car manufacturer that hasn’t actually manufactured a sports car – or any car, for that matter – in around two decades. And yet the target that this Lazarus of the automotive world now has its sights set on with its first production car since 1995 is a true sporting giant: the Porsche 718 Cayman.
Welcome, then, to the new Alpine A110.
We first caught wind of a revived Alpine back in 2012 but it wasn’t until four years later – with the launch of the Alpine Vision concept in Monaco – that we were presented with an idea of what such a car might look like. And credit where credit’s due, the resemblance between that concept and the Première Edition car you see here is almost entire and complete.
The more important resemblance by which this new A110 will be judged, of course, is to one of the prettiest and most distinctive sports cars of all time: the A110 Berlinette of 1969, designed by the great Giovanni Michelotti.
The original A110 was the truer realisation of founder Jean Rédélé’s vision of a lightweight, compact, highly agile sports car given to excel on mountain passes than anything that came after it and it was the car that enabled the Alpine-Renault team to claim the World Rally Championship manufacturers’ title in 1973.