top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

Alpine is a legend reborn for twisty roads

With elegant, low looks that hark back to one of the dominant Monte Carlo rally cars, the Alpine and its Dieppe factory are reborn 

Keen fans of the mythical Alpine A110 will next month receive the first 1,955 sports cars off the assembly line at the historic Dieppe plant that has seen the Alpine name relaunched with €35 million of investment.

The factory also makes the Clio Renault Sport models but for Dieppe the Alpine is something else. It was in Dieppe that Jean Rédélé founded the marque in 1955 – hence the number of cars in the first batch.

The investment has created 151 jobs to make a total of 396 at the site, an increase of 60% in two years. They include head of production Vincent Lasserre who grew up with the A110 and, having left Renault, “returned specifically to work on the Alpine”.

Drivers have paid €58,500 for the driving pleasure the ‘Berlinette’ was renowned for... and which led to its ancestors dominating the Monte Carlo Rally. Its first win in 1971 with Ove And­er­s­son and British co-driver David Stone was followed in 1973 by a clean-sweep 1,2,3 on the podium led by Jean-Claude Andruet.

Bernard Ollivier, the brand’s deputy general manager, said: “Our overriding guideline was to provide pleasure – pleasure to the eye and pleasure behind the wheel.”

All-aluminium, the two-seater weighs in at 1,080kg – a far cry from most modern sports cars which are getting bigger and heavier – and its chassis gives a light and rigid car that aims for agility on the winding mountain roads where it made its name.

Powered by a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, 252hp, turbocharged petrol engine driving the rear wheels via a dual-clutch transmission, the mid-engined coupé has weight concentrated in the centre of the car, making drivers feel the car is designed round them.

While light weight has dominated the design – the seat is half the weight of the Megane RS seat – quality is also a key ingredient.

With only 15 cars made a day, the A110 spends six hours in what Alpine calls the super-finishing zone where every blemish is exposed by super-bright lights. A110 chief engineer David Twohig said: “This is an essential part of Alpine A110 production.”

There is no mistaking that this is an Alpine with the central ‘spine’ on the bonnet, the four headlights, the deep scoop in the sides and especially with the Alpine Blue colour that joins white and black for the first cars on the road.

With all of the first 1,955 Première Edition cars sold and ready to be delivered, the next series will arrive in time for summer. They will come in a new grey colour and two versions: Pure, priced at €50,000 and 30kg lighter, and Legend at €55,000 with upgraded finishing.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France