If you haven't noticed yet, Renault makes good cars. And I'm not just referring to boring but objectively good cars for the rational consumer. I'm talking about achingly beautiful cars like the Laguna Coupe and the stupidly fast and fun to drive hot hatches spanning decades. So when the company announced a comeback of the old Alpine brand, we were justified to be excited. You see, Alpine last engineered a car in the 80's and with today's safety and emissions regulations, we were also justified to be very nervous.
With many manufacturers making their sportscars worse with every generation and some killing them off completely, it is refreshing and exciting to see a new one that has been built from the ground up enter the market. Renault has shown faith in us that love cars and for that we thank you.
When commissioned with the task of producing its re-entry model, Alpine could have gone down a number of different routes. It could have built a posh A110 with massive power like the Audi TT RS. On the other extreme, it could have built a Lotus Elise super lightweight. But instead it focused on the driving dynamics - leaving compromise for anything else - and it succeeded. It is just about as much fun to drive as one can have for the money.
The combination of the A110's light structure and an adequately powerful engine allows it to keep up with a Porsche Cayman. It weighs about the same as a Renault Clio so it's as agile as the best in class. The interior is made with all the modern tech that won't have you wishing you were sitting in a BMW M2 and to my eyes, it is also quite the looker. So, thank you Alpine.
Now, there are some consequences for the current state of the global car market. One of those is that the Alpine will not be made available in all countries that Renault has a presence: this is a business after all. So, after the car was revealed Renault announced the markets that the A110 would be sold and one of those countries was South Africa. Thank you Renault. We shall repay you.
I'm a Porsche fan but for a change I think you can keep it. I would like an Alpine - A110 - in blue please.