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James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception

James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception

The Former Top Gear Presenter is all praises about the Alpine A110 S, except for one thing

James May is at it again, this time taking us on a tour of yet another one, of his quirky cars, that the man owns. This one is a classic MAY Review that we have come to enjoy over the years. He goes over his Alpine A110 S, giving his unique perspective, highlighting details about the car that you might otherwise miss.

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This Alpine A110 Almost Sounds Like an F1 Car

This Alpine A110 Almost Sounds Like an F1 Car

It is actually part car, part motorcycle

Some people acquire retro cars and turn them into glorified garage queens in the wake of a thorough restoration process. Some people acquire retro cars and turn them into hillclimb monsters. Care to guess which way Javi Graña went with his Alpine A110?

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The Alpine A110 Has Escaped the Clutches of Death For Now But It's Living On Borrowed Time

The Alpine A110 Has Escaped the Clutches of Death For Now But It’s Living On Borrowed Time

The French sports car isn’t getting the axe just yet, but its future doesn’t look good

In times of restrictions and cost-cutting, guess what sort of cars are the most vulnerable? It’s those models that don’t bring in a lot of sales and which, at the same time, are expensive to produce. Most often than not, those victims identify themselves as sports cars.

Let’s take the Alpine A110, for example. So far, it was able to elude its demise as the Dieppe plant won’t get shut down. The future, however, holds no good news for the A110.

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2020 Alpine A110 Légende GT

2020 Alpine A110 Légende GT

Alpine delivers the goods with a fresh interpretation of the A110 sports car

Alpine’s return to automotive prominence hit another milestone with the unveiling of the A110 Legende GT. Billed as the “most refined interpretation of the A110 to date,” the A110 Legende GT breaks away from its contemporaries with a smattering of exclusive touches, including an all-new paint finish that will be seen for the first time on the A110.

There is, of course, more to the Legende GT than a fancy new paint. The special edition also boasts a bespoke exterior that matches the exclusivity of the interior. Alpine only plans to release 400 units of the A110 Legende GT. The special edition sports coupe is available to order in France with a starting price of €69,300. That’s around $77,000 based on current exchange rates.

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2020 Alpine A110 SportsX

2020 Alpine A110 SportsX

An Alpine A110 that can go off-road? Well, maybe just a little

Alpine has decided to partake in a fun design exercise that blends the the modern-day Alpine A110 with inspiration derived from the A110 SportsX that won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1973. . The idea is to showcase the potential for customization offered by the current A110, and showcase that it does. Alpine started by making the A110 80 mm wider and followed up by raising the suspension by 60 mm to make it more off-road friendly.

As far as we can tell, the modern-day Alpine A110 SportsX is powered by the same engine as the standard A100, which means there’s a 1.8-liter four-cylinder in place to do the dirty work. Power output should be pegged at 252 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. This design study, if it was slated for production wouldn’t be quite so fast to 60 mph (4.5 seconds) but it would be more of a go-anywhere type of vehicle so it might be a fair trade-off.

We’ve organized a nice gallery of the Alpine A110 SportsX in the slider above and the page below. Go ahead and browse through and let us know what you think.

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The Alpine A110S Has Been Announced And We'll Probably See it at Le Mans

The Alpine A110S Has Been Announced And We’ll Probably See it at Le Mans

Unfortunately, we won’t see it in America

After months of speculation, Alpine has finally pulled the covers off of the A110S, the new range-topping model in the French automaker’s budding performance lineup. The A110S takes its place above the standard A110 with more power on tap in addition to a specific chassis setup and improved power-to-weight ratio. It’s largely still the same beautiful coupé that burst into the scene in 2017, but the A110S also benefits from a few cosmetic upgrades in the exterior and interior department. Unfortunately, the Alpine A110S isn’t coming to the U.S. market. It is already available in Europe, though, with a starting price of €66,500. That converts to around $75,000 in case you were wondering. Alpine is expected to start delivering the A110s to customers beginning in October this year. As for us here in America, well, tough luck yet again.

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2020 Alpine A110 Sport

2020 Alpine A110 Sport

All the lessons from the GT4 racer are bound to reach the street sooner than you think

The Alpine A110 is one of the best sports cars currently on the market; the only car one James May bought last year out of all of the machines he got to test. And for good reason. The French midship pocket rocket that packs a 1.8-liter, turbocharged engine delivering 249 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque sent to the back wheels through a seven-speed automatic box benefits from an awesomely balanced chassis and sharp steering that make it a true driver’s car. Yes, there’s no manual on offer right now, but the car you see in these spy shots could be the answer to our prayers for more oomph as Renault could be hard at work developing a track-oriented version of the A110. We’re impatient!

When the Alpine A110-50 Concept broke cover in 2012, quickly followed by an Alpine-branded racing program in the European Le Mans Series and at Le Mans, we were wary at the prospect of a full-blown revival of the Alpine brand. You see, when Alpine was in its prime, the Renault-powered A110 1600 models were dominating the rally stages, and the car was a French symbol. Then, as years went by, Alpine kept its racing credentials by winning Le Mans outright in partnership with Renault but, on the road, the products moved away from the recipe that made the brand great. The A310 looked good, but the A610 of the ’80s and ’90s was just a cruiser. In a world of cars that get fatter by the day, pushed by safety regulations and the necessity to fill them to the brim with tech, we thought that a modern-day Alpine would just be a revival of the A610, an awkward, sluggish coupe that you either love or truly hate. Then we heard that it’ll be named ’A110’ and we crossed our fingers it won’t tarnish that legendary name.

Then, when the car finally saw the light of day we were left drooling at its styling. It evoked the original while still looking fresh and, most important of all, it was tiny. It looked smaller than even an Alfa 4C or a Porsche 718 Cayman - Renault’s benchmark when developing the A110 - and then people started driving the new Alpine, and the positive reviews started pouring. This time, though, it wasn’t a case of pundits getting together to give empty applause to a car that doesn’t deserve even a single-handed clap. No, the 2017 Alpine A110 is a well-sorted car that is deserving of the badge and of the heritage of the company founded by Jean Redele. A hotter version can only translate in a general tremble across the board from Audi’s TT to Porsche’s Cayman and everything in between.

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Top Gear's 2018 Performance Car Of The Year Winner Is Alpine A110

Top Gear’s 2018 Performance Car Of The Year Winner Is Alpine A110

An underdog in true sense

It’s that time of the year; the time where magazines and websites name their respective car of the year. And, here we have the U.K.’s Top Gear giving the title of the 2018 Performance Car of the Year. The winner took us by surprise, especially because it beat some of the biggest names in the auto industry – it’s the Alpine A110!

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11 New Retro-Styled Cars Available Today

11 New Retro-Styled Cars Available Today

Old school-inspired looks, new school everything else

Retro styling done right in the automotive world can result in a car that buyers instantly feel drawn to because they remember the original from their childhood. Granted, if done wrong, it can look really hideous and out of place, but you won’t find any of those here.

When mainstream manufacturers do it, they spend a lot of time and money to get it just right, and it really shows. Many of these retro-styled cars are bought first and foremost for the way they look, but they are actually just good cars overall. I’ve assembled the ones you can buy new right now, in the list after the jump.

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The Alpine A110 Range Gets a Little More Diversity with the Pure and Légende Trim Levels

The Alpine A110 Range Gets a Little More Diversity with the Pure and Légende Trim Levels

Adding more variety should help the A110 become more appealing to a lot of customers

The Alpine A110 GT4 may be hogging the spotlight in Geneva, but the French automaker’s booth also includes a pair of special edition A110s with personalities of their own. The Alpine A110 Pure Edition is the driver-focused version of the three new special edition A110s. Meanwhile, the Alpine A110 Legende is the comfort-oriented version. Altogether, the three special edition A110s help add more variety to the A110 lineup, giving customers the opportunity to choose which of these three versions suit them best.

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The Alpine A110 GT4 Is the Hottest A110 Ever Built!

The Alpine A110 GT4 Is the Hottest A110 Ever Built!

Coming to a race track near you in 2019

Although not yet available outside Europe, the brand-new Alpine A110 is slowly developing into a full-size lineup. Available in standard and Premier guise at first, it gained a race-spec Cup model after the official launch. Now, Alpine is adding three more models to the family, all of which are on display at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The French firm is expanding the lineup with the A110 Legende, a trim that adds refinement and everyday usability, and A110 Pure, described as the most driver-focused version. More importantly, Alpine also launched a GT4-spec version of the car for international racing.

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Alpine A110 Catches Fire During Top Gear Presentation

Alpine A110 Catches Fire During Top Gear Presentation

Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan barely escape the fiery blaze

A car catching fire on Top Gear isn’t a new occurrence. A few years ago, a Zenvo ST1 burst into flames during filming. That prompted a bitter back-and-forth between presented Jeremy Clarkson and Zenvo. Fast forward to this year and it’s deja vu all over again for the hit motoring show. This time, the unwitting victim is a pre-production Renault Alpine A110 that was being driven by Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan.

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Ring in 2018 Already: 10 Models We're Dying To See When The Calendar Flips A Page

Ring in 2018 Already: 10 Models We’re Dying To See When The Calendar Flips A Page

Are you ready to ring in the new year with a car purchase or two?

With just a little over two months left before we say adieu to 2017, the wait for all 2018 model releases is hitting fever pitch. We can’t promise to make time move faster than it does, but what we can do is at least prepare everyone for what’s to come when the new year arrives. That said, let me be the first to say that 2018 is going to be a wild year for the auto industry, as old guards are retired, existing nameplates get their redesigns, and most importantly, all-new models are unleashed into the world.

Who knows, 2018 might even be the year when we take a big leap in electric and autonomous technology. A lot of things are at play when the new year rolls around so to keep the anticipation building, do check out this list of some of the hottest and most highly anticipated models to hit the streets next year. We can’t say that we like one of these models better over the other, but at least we’re giving you a good preview of what’s to come. Prepare those checkbooks, ladies and gentlemen, because some of these cars won’t come cheap.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2019 Alpine SUV

2019 Alpine SUV

Alpine’s second modern vehicle is aimed at the Porsche Macan

Shut down in 1995, Renault’s Alpine brand made a comeback 22 years later with a modern interpretation of its iconic A110 sports car. Developed on a bespoke platform and using a design that’s both modern and linked to the original car, the A110 is Renault’s long-awaited response to the Porsche Cayman and the Alfa Romeo 4C. But Alpine isn’t planning to stop here. Word has it that a convertible version of the A110 is also in the works, and the French firm also wants to jump on the SUV bandwagon. Why? Because everyone is doing it nowadays. But what’s this SUV going to be bring to the table?

I’m going to provide an answer to that question in the speculative review below, which includes not only the latest information and rumors but also a detailed rendering of the Alpine-badged hauler. A release date is not yet available, but given that we have yet to see any prototypes on the road, it’s safe to assume that it won’t happen sooner than late 2018. All told, this SUV won’t be available until the 2019 model year. That’s a long wait, but we already have a few juicy details about what’s coming.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2018 Alpine A110 Premiere Edition

2018 Alpine A110 Premiere Edition

First wave of A110 models will be limited to just 1,955 units and priced at a little over $66K

The Alpine A110 will likely go down as one of the most memorable sports cars launches in 2017. It marks a return from the ashes for the Alpine brand and it finally came after three years of being in development. Needless to say, a lot of people looked forward to the A110’s debut, and by and large, it didn’t disappoint. And if the positive reception surrounding the sports car isn’t enough, all of us can now look forward to the first special edition version of the A110. It’s called the A110 Premiere Edition, and it’s all set to be revealed at the Salon Price later this month.

As you can expect, the A110 Premiere Edition will come with exclusive features that “standard” versions of the sports car will come without. Most of these upgrades are of the cosmetic variety so don’t expect any power bumps to happen to the car’s 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s still going to produce 252 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, numbers that are actually impressive for a sports car with a four-cylinder engine. What you can expect though is that the A110 will be limited to just 1,955 units, the number that references the year Alpine was founded.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Alpine A110 Premiere Edition.

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Alpine Sets Its Sights On An SUV After the A110 Sports Car

Alpine Sets Its Sights On An SUV After the A110 Sports Car

Reborn automaker wants a slice of SUV pie to make money for performance car projects

Alpine’s return from the grave may have been marked by the launch of the A110 sports car, but the returning French automaker is still in the business of making money, and there’s no better way of doing that these days by joining the hustle and bustle that is the SUV market. Turns out, that’s exactly what Alpine plans to do now that the A110 is on the market.

According to Auto Express, the French automaker’s rationale for building an SUV boils down to one simple and inevitable reason: it needs to make money. That piece of urgent business is even more important now that the A110 has reached dealerships because if the company wants to build on the sports coupe with other performance cars, it’s going to need a cash cow model to help generate the funds to do so. And as promising as the A110 is, it’s won’t be able to generate that much financial business compared to an SUV. By contrast, an SUV would be more than capable of generating the influx of money the company needs to stay relevant in the game. Plans are already underway to develop the vehicle with an expected launch date of sometime in 2019. It may seem weird at first to think of an Alpine SUV given the company’s long history as a performance and racing brand, but the sign of the times call for certain actions to be made. A lot of other companies with little to no history in the SUV game have made similar leaps of fate. If Alpine wants to stay in the business longer this time, it recognizes that it’s going to have to do the same.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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10 Rear-Engined Cars That Aren't A Porsche 911

10 Rear-Engined Cars That Aren’t A Porsche 911

A quick look at today’s automotive offerings and you’ll notice that almost all passenger cars are front-engined, while most sports cars come with a mid-engined configuration. The Porsche 911 is the most known exception from this rule, having its engine mounted above the rear axle. The 911 isn’t the only rear-engined car on the market, the Smart ForTwo and ForFour, Renault Twingo, Tesla Model S, and Tata Nano have similar configurations, but all of them are part of the minority. However, it wasn’t always like this.

Decades ago, rear-engined vehicles were significantly more popular. The first notable rear-engined car dates back to 1886, when Karl Benz launched the Patent-Motorwagen. The concept gained more traction in the 1930 and remained somewhat popular until the 1980s. Mostly found in small, affordable cars, the layout allowed for the rest of the vehicle to be used for passengers and luggage. It was also preferred by many carmakers since the drivetrain can installed easily at the factory compared to front-wheel-drive layout where the driven wheels also steer the car.

Continue reading for the full story.

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The New Alpine A110 Is A Nice Tribute To The Past

The New Alpine A110 Is A Nice Tribute To The Past

You can see hints of the original inside and out, plus it’s got maneuverability to match

The Alpine A110 from the late 1960s and early 70s was a fine vehicle, but the name was laid to rest a long time ago. That’s true up until 2012 when we first laid eyes on the Renault Alpine A110-50 concept. Since then, two other concepts have come and gone, with the Alpine Vision Concept of 2016 showcasing the closest representation of the production model that you see here. So what does the new A110 bring to the table? Well, to put it simply, it’s a heritage-filled sports car with stunning looks, a mid-engine configuration for a near-perfect weight distribution, a lightweight platform, and beautiful interior appointments that will keep this reborn sports car relevant and competitive for some time to come.

It all starts out with an aluminum platform and body that are bonded, riveted, and welded to help increase strength and rigidity. Because of the materials and assembly procedure, the car – without options – has a curb weight of just 2,380 pounds (1,080kg.) Like its predecessor from the 1960s, the new A110 is also ready to hit those windy, mountain roads thanks to the location of the engine, which brings an optimal weight distribution of 44 percent in the front and 56 percent in the rear. Pair that with the fuel tank being located up front and you have an exceptionally low center of gravity – perfect for stout maneuvers and spirited driving.

So, what can the Alpine do in the performance department? Well, I’m glad you asked. Renault Alpine managed to cram a 1.8-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder above the rear axle that delivers a cool 252 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Shifting duties are handled by a Getrag, seven-speed, wet-clutch, DCT that has specially tuned gear ratios. With that curb weight of 2,380 pounds, this drivetrain setup will push this sexy little sports car up to 62 mph in just 4.5 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph. And, it does so without the need for a spoiler thanks to strategic aerodynamics and a drag coefficient of just 0.32.

Suspension duties are handled by double wishbones front and rear which, according to Renault Alpine, offers a combination of “excellent handling performance” and “great ride comfort and daily usability.” To put that into perspective, the Porsche 911 with its 370-horsepower flat-six can hit the 60 mph sprint in 4.4 seconds.

Little has been said about the interior, but the model we’re looking at here is the Premiere edition. The few images we have showcase a leather-wrapped steering wheel with cross stitching, a leather wrapped floating center console, seats with a quilted stitching pattern, and a leather wrapped dash – all of which have blue contrast stitching that stands out against the black leather. The infotainment display floats in front of the center stack, just above a row of push buttons that control various features like the hazard lights, locks, etc. The seats themselves are of the racing variety and look to be compatible with five-point racing harnesses. They also feature an Alpine plaque fixed to the headrest and an embroidered “A” in the middle of the seatback.

All told, it’s a fine vehicle and, when you compare it to the model that precedes it, it’s clear that this thing is built with heritage in mind. Even the exterior design nods to the original A110 from the 60s with the recessed headlights, round driving lights in the nose, and the roofline that is unmistakably Alpine. It even has the wider lower body like its predecessor. So, with that said, let’s travel down the page and talk a little about the Premiere edition that is being offered and produced before other production models hit the assembly line.

Continue reading for the full story.

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