It’s been a poorly-kept secret these past five days, but Renault has finally – and officially – unleashed the full array of photos and details surrounding the Alpine A110-50 concept.
That clunky alphanumeric name essentially says it all: this concept was, more than anything, birthed to pay homage to the legendary Alpine-Renault A110, which first debuted 50 years ago in 1962. But apart from a handful of design cues and its deep blue hue, this is hardly a retro-tinged copy of the original design.
“For everybody on the team, it was a dream come true to work on an Alpine concept car,” notes Laurens van den Acker, Renault’s vice president of design, in a prepared statement. “We wanted to put this car firmly in the modern day, while resonating with its heritage.”
As we reported earlier this week, much of the A110-50’s shape is cribbed from the DeZir concept, which first debuted in 2010. Revisions are slight, and are mostly to help tie the already sexy sports coupe design to the original A110. Fog lamps are replaced by LED light pipes, which resemble the auxiliary nose headlamps on the A110. The greenhouse is also amended; while the original concept lacked a rear window, the A110-50 boasts a wraparound windscreen that echoes that of its inspiration.
The two cars differ considerably beneath the skin: while the DeZir borrowed its electric drivetrain from the pedestrian Nissan Leaf, the A110-50’s carbon fiber bodywork is literally stretched and wrapped around the mechanical bits of a Renaultsport Megane Trophy race car (ironically, that car is built in Renaultsport’s factory in Dieppe, France, which used to build Alpine-Renaults).
As such, the A110-50 boasts a purpose-built tube-frame chassis, complete with double wishbone and fully adjustable Sachs dampers. Power – some 400 hp -- comes courtesy of a frenetic, twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter V-6, which is mated to a six-speed sequential manual transmission and a limited-slip differential. Purists will note this mid-engine configuration isn’t exactly true to the original A110 (or most Alpines, for that matter), which hung its engine block aft of the rear axle.
Chances of the A110-50 making it into production as it stands seem fairly slim, but it’s a relatively open secret the company is working at creating a new mid-engine sports coupe, and potentially reviving the mothballed Alpine brand in the process. A production version would likely be a little less powerful (rumors of 300-hp, turbocharged I-4s are circulating online) a little more civilized, and based off a new platform developed with Daimler and Nissan, but we sure hope the finished product looks as sinister and seductive as what we see here.