2018 Renault Alpine Convertible
The new Alpine sports car will grow into a full lineup and we think a convertible model is nextby Ciprian Florea, on
Shut down in 1995 after four decades on the market, the Alpine brand has struggled to return to the market for five years. Having showcased a number of concept cars since 2012, Alpine finally unveiled its first new car in two decades for 2017. Called the A110, it’s a modern rendition of the original A110 sports car and comes into dealerships with big goals, one of which being to compete with the Porsche 718 Cayman. Now that we the highly anticipated Alpine sports car is ready to hit the streets, the company is likely already planning its expansion, because let’s face it, you can’t survive with just one product unless your name is Bugatti.
We already know Alpine is pondering an SUV and a proper sports car family, but the French have yet to talk about it in detail. However, it’s safe to assume that the said sports car lineup will revolve around this new coupe and that the first derivative will be an open-top version. With that in mind, we rendered a convertible model based on the new A110 and put together a speculative review about what it might bring to the table. Keep reading to find out more about the drop-top sports car that could challenge the Porsche 718 Boxster.
Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Alpine Convertible.
2018 Renault Alpine Convertible
|2017 Renault Alpine A110||Renault Alpine Convertible|
Modifications will be noticeable above the beltline, starting with the revised windscreen and the missing B- and C-pillars.
Much like any convertible version out there, the roofless Alpine will be identical to the coupe below the waist. Look for the same A110-inspired front hood and headlamps, and wide grille with horizontal bars. The rear fascia should also be identical and include the X-shaped LED pattern taillights, beefy bumper with a center-mounted exhaust pipe, and a subtle trunk lid spoiler.
Modifications will be noticeable above the beltline, starting with the revised windscreen and the missing B- and C-pillars. Along with the roof, Alpine will also ditch the Porsche 911-style grille between the rear glass and trunk lid, as the area will most likely be used to store the canvas roof. Also, expect the Alpine to sport a slightly different shape with the top up, as foldable roofs rarely mimic the shape of the metal top due to technical reasons.
Note: standard Alpine A110 interior shown here.
The cockpit should also be identical to the coupe’s, which we already established is a nice place to spend time in.
The cockpit should also be identical to the coupe’s, which we already established is a nice place to spend time in. So look for the same modern design with a clean dashboard design and sporty steering wheel, a center stack packed with buttons and switches, a customizable instrument cluster, three driving modes, and a start/stop function.
As far as materials go, look for the same premium cockpit as in the coupe. Although there are numerous plastic surfaces, they seem smooth and soft. The seats and the steering wheel will be wrapped in natural-grain leather, while some elements will be made from aluminum. The door panels, which have a simple, lightweight design, should have accents that match the exterior paint. Contrast stitching, sports pedals, motorsport-inspired seats are also on the table.
The options list should include an Alpine-tuned Focal audio system, matte carbon-fiber accents, brushed aluminum pedals, quilted Sabelt seats, and "tricolore" (blue, white and red) badges. Alpine will probably also throw in a Premier Edition model at launch, which includes these options in the standard equipment list.
Note: standard Alpine A110 engine shown here.
Expect to find the same turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood.
Naturally, the convertible will share its drivetrain with the coupe, so expect to find the same turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. The unit is rated at 252 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque and relies on a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission to spin the rear wheels.
The convertible should be one or two tenths slower than the coupe from 0 to 62 mph, but it will still hit the benchmark in less than five seconds. Look for the sprint to take 4.6 or 4.7 ticks. It will be a bit slower than the the 718 Boxster, but it’s worth noting that the base Porsche model benefits from significantly more oomph at 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.
The coupe’s suspension setup with the double-wishbone configuration at all four corners should carry over. The same goes for the Brembo brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport tires.
Pricing information for the standard coupe is not yet available, but Alpine did say that the Premier Edition will start from €58,500 in France. This could mean that the base model could fetch around €52,000 before options. With convertible models usually priced higher, the drop-top A110 could come in at around €55,000, which will make it a tad more expensive than both the 718 Boxster and TTS Roadster.
Probably the sports car Alpine will aim its convertible at, the Boxster is brand-new for 2016, having received revised styling and a new moniker that pays homage to a lightweight race car developed in the mid-1950s. The 718 Boxster also received a couple of new four-cylinder engines, ditching the previous six-cylinder units. The base Boxster is now motivated by a 2.0-liter flat-four rated at 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, while the Boxster S uses a 2.5-liter flat-four to put 350 horses and 309 pound-feet to the asphalt. The former can sprint to 60 mph in as quick as 4.5 seconds, while the latter can achieve the same benchmark in as quick as four ticks. Both figures are for models equipped with the quick-shifting PDK transmission and the Sport Chrono package. European pricing for the 718 Boxster starts from €53,646 (about $59,000) for the base model and €66,141 (around $72,750) for the S-badged version.
Read our full review on the Porsche 718 Boxster.
The TTS Roadster might not be as exciting as the 718 Boxster as far as underpinnings and brand cachet go, but it is quick enough to give its competitors a run for their money. It is based on the third-generation TT with revised styling and more angular lines, as well as a refreshed interior with new materials and Audi’s latest technology. It uses a 2.0-liter four-pot rated at 310 horsepower and 280 pound-feet, and hits 60 mph in an impressive 4.9 seconds. Pricing starts from €52,750 (about $58,000), which makes it a bit more affordable than the Boxster and the Alpine.
Read our full review on the Audi TTS Roadster.
The Alpine convertible is nothing more than a rendering right now, but unlike other vehicles we’ve predicted, this is one is very likely to happen. Alpine needs more than just one car to survive, and a serious sports car, no matter the segment it competes in, needs a roofless sibling for enthusiasts who want to enjoy the benefits of infinite headroom. The Cayman has the Boxster, the 4C is available as a convertible, and even Lotus, a company that doesn’t care much about mainstream marketing, offers both coupes and drop-tops. Sure, you may argue that the original A110 was a berlinette only, but the new Alpine is supposed to be an evolution of the original design, and modern times require diversity beyond a couple of engine choices and five exterior colors. Whatever its official name will be, the Alpine convertible could be a crucial car for the French firm (and even for Renault).