NEWS: Name That Microcar: Part One

By Automobile Staff - July 19, 2010
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Think the Smart Fortwo is just too ungainly for the urban jungle? Or are you just waiting for a proper successor to the original Fiat 500? With the United States experiencing a resurgence in small-car purchases, enthusiasts have a reason to rejoice.
This week, we'll test your eye for small cars with photos of some of the best microcar achievements from the past century. Think you know the answer? Let us know in the comments section below. We'll unveil the answer tomorrow, as well as a brand-new, mystery vehicle.
Did You Guess the Final French Vehicle?
Few front fascias were quite as distinctive as that of the early Alpine-Renault A310, which first launched in 1971.
Designed as a successor to the famed A110 range, the A310 was a large step forward for Alpine, a small Renault tuner based in Dieppe, France. Development began in late 1968, and the final car, styled by Yves Legal, was unveiled at the 1971 Geneva motor show.
Early cars sported the distinctive panoramic headlamp windows shown here, but it would disappear in late 1976, when the A310 was updated to make use of the company's 2.7-liter PRV V-6 in lieu of the original 1.6-liter I-4. Led by Robert Opron, the redesign reduced the headlamp count to four, and reduced the size of the headlamp windows.
Production officially ended in 1985, but the next Alpines -- the GTA and the subsequent A610 -- bore a striking resemblance to the angular A310.
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