Future Models - Alpine 2019 A110
Geneva show: Australia not a priority for Alpine A110
Swiss alps: The Alpine stand was one of the most crowded at this year’s Geneva motor show, as punters flocked to get a glimpse of the long-awaited A110.
Alpine reveals all-new A110 sportscar in Geneva but ADRs thwart Aussie launch
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9 March 2017
ALPINE’S reborn A110 sportscar has officially launched at the 2017 Geneva motor
show this week and order books are now open for European and Japanese
customers, but an Australian debut for the hotly anticipated all-new model
remains far from certain.
Alpine managing director Michael van der Sande has revealed to GoAuto that
launching the A110 in Australia was a lower priority than other markets,
meaning the Renault-owned brand’s lightweight sportscar may not be launched
here until 2019 – if at all.
“We haven’t decided yet (to bring it to Australia), because we wanted to go one
step at a time,” Mr van der Sande told us at the A110’s unveiling in Geneva.
“We are a relatively small team at Alpine and our brief is to be good before we’
re big, so right now we’re focusing on being good with the car within our world.
“We’re starting with 12 European markets plus Japan over the next 12 months and
then after that we have a wish-list of countries that, of course, has Australia
in it, but we haven’t decided yet because we want to make sure we don’t overeat
ourselves in the beginning.”
Mr van der Sande said that Australia’s unique homologation requirements
(Australian Design Rules) meant that the A110 had to be modified before it can
be sold in this market, taking time and resources away from production.
“Australia has some specific requirements, as you know, that vary from European
requirements and we just didn’t want to do everything at the same time,” he
“They (ADRs) are quite strict, but that won’t prevent us from doing anything.
Anything is possible.
“We can do anything we want, but we can’t do everything so we decided to focus
on Europe plus Japan – which very closely follows European homologation rules,
as you know – and then when we get a bit of oxygen, we will think about other
markets including Australia.”
Mr van der Sande said production at the factory in Dieppe, France, where the
A110 will be built alongside the Renault Clio RS, can accommodate anywhere
between 1000 and 10,000 vehicles per year.
Built on an aluminium platform, the A1100 tips the scales at just 1080kg and
measures 4178mm long, 1798mm wide and 1252mm in height, making it lighter and
more compact than its Porsche Cayman rival, but slightly larger and heavier
than the Alfa Romeo 4C.
Motived by a mid-mounted turbocharged 1-8-litre four-cylinder engine – a
tweaked version of the 1.6-litre unit found in the Clio RS – the A110 benefits
from a bespoke air intake, new turbocharger, revised exhaust system and
upgraded engine tune.
Peak power is rated at 188kW and maximum torque at 320Nm, which, when combined
with its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, is enough to
accelerate the diminutive sportscar from 0-100km/h in just 4.5 seconds.
Drivers will also be able to toggle between three different driving modes –
normal, sport and track – to remap engine, gearbox, steering and stability
settings on the fly.
Suspension is handled by double wishbones front and rear, while all-aluminium
four-pot front and single-piston rear Brembo brakes stop the 18-inch Otto Fuchs
forged aluminium wheels.
To launch the new car across Europe, Alpine will open around 60 dedicated
showrooms to serve as a point of contact for customers, as well as a means of
differentiation from its Renault parent, according to Mr van der Sande.
“What was key to us was that the customer for this type of car is very
passionate and very knowledgeable, and if we dilute the sales and the servicing
of this car too much, first people just won’t have the volume of engagement to
become expert,” he said.
“So, what we’ve chosen to do for Europe is to build a network of around 60
dedicated Alpine centres and of course we use a lot of the back-office
infrastructure ... of Renault, but the principle will have a network of
dedicated Alpine dealers who will be dedicated to the car.”