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Future models - Alpine - A110

Aussie buyers line up for born-again Alpine sportscar

Hot ticket: Renault Australia has secured 54 examples of the Alpine A110 for this year – with around 30 of these already accounted for – and up to 110 for 2019.

More than half of this year’s supply accounted for as buyers line up for Alpine A110

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Alpine logo20 Mar 2018

By TERRY MARTIN

ENTHUSIAST buyers are lining up for Renault’s long-awaited reborn Alpine A110 high-performance coupe, with the Australian arm of the French brand already receiving around 30 firm expressions of interest from a supply bank of 54 vehicles that are scheduled to arrive in the final quarter.

Early demand looks set to outstrip supply, with Renault Australia managing director Andrew Moore revealing to GoAuto that the local allocation for next year would be between 100 and 110 units.

Mr Moore is clearly delighted in the response to the A110 from enthusiasts, dealers and prospective buyers – some of whom are planning to race the vehicle – especially given the company has devoted only limited resources to its promotion at this stage.

He said the combination of heritage (including past motorsport successes), limited allocation, high specification and sheer value for money compared to rivals such as the Porsche Cayman – pricing for the A110 is expected to start from about $95,000, plus on-road costs – would “add to the uniqueness, add to the appeal”.

As such, dealers and company representatives are upbeat about the impending arrival of the all-new coupe which will be sold through only a select number of outlets – likely one each in Melbourne and Sydney – that will be separate from Renault-brand retail space and offer a premium level of customer service.

On the latter, Mr Moore said the company planned to fly customers from other states to either the Melbourne or Sydney dealership to take delivery of their A110, which then allows them to embark on a road trip back home.

“It’s a fantastic vehicle so we want a dedicated network, standalone facilities and the customer gets a dedicated experience,” he said.

“It’s limited volume we can access – probably around 100, 110 a year is the most we can get – so obviously to give the right experience for those 110 customers, we can’t afford to have lots of dealers because they can’t sell enough volume to justify the investment.

“So we’re looking at probably a Melbourne and Sydney (retail) model, but what we’re going to do to assist in that regard, is we will move cars around interstate, giving people the opportunity to test-drive them, and then what we will most likely do is if someone buys it from interstate, we will fly them in to Melbourne or Sydney (so they can) pick up their car and drive back as part of their purchase.

“The fly-in one is the one for me that I’m excited about because I think that’s a benefit of having a smaller network. That’s the plan – and I’d say it’s pretty much what we’ll do.”

Mr Moore said the company was also studying other issues such as servicing facilities for those who purchase the vehicle outside New South Wales or Victoria.

As announced late last year, the A110 will be launched in a single level of specification based on the Premiere Edition in Europe.

Arriving here direct from Alpine’s factory in Dieppe, France, the A110 will cut a striking pose with its classic proportions, sculptural bodywork, 18-inch Otto Fuchs forged alloy wheels, Brembo braking package, quartet of full-LED daytime running lights, X-shaped LED tail-lights and, inside, a minimalist cockpit with structural aluminium, matte carbon-fibre detailing and Sabelt sports seats among the highlights.

The small, aerodynamic and ultra-lightweight A110 has an all-aluminium construction and tips the scales at just over a tonne (1080kg), enabling the two-door ‘berlinette’ – which features a mid-mounted 185kW/320Nm 1.8-litre turbo-four engine driving the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission – to reach 100km/h from standstill in just 4.5 seconds.

Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.

Chassis dynamics are a major point of emphasis with the A110, which is underpinned by a double-wishbone suspension front and rear and has a 44:56 per cent front/rear weight distribution. Three driving modes are also available: Normal, Sport and Track.

Exact Australian pricing and specification will be confirmed closer to launch.

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