I’ve mentioned my fondness for RenaultSport vehicles here in the past. I had a RS Megane on my tentative shopping list earlier this year and I’m quite sure that I’ll pick one up one day (when I have the garage space for a third vehicle – I don’t foresee myself selling either the Alfa GTV6 or the Subaru Brumby any time soon).
Renault recently showed a new ‘concept’ vehicle. I say ‘concept’ because unlike most concept cars, this one actually goes really, really fast. It’s stonkingly good looking, too. It’s the Renault Alpine A110-50, made to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Renault Alpine A110.
You can see both the original A110 and the new A110-50 in the following video:
This video (5 mins) is the A110-50 on its own, being thrown around in a more realistic manner on a more realistic track. The audio is quite amazing (and yes, I’ve heard a single car sound like a swarm of bees before, so it is indeed realistic).
The original A110, or Berlinette, made its debut at the 1962 Paris Motor Show and quickly made an impact on the French rally circuit. Its first win was at the Rallye des Lions in 1963 and the car enjoyed continued success through to the mid-1970’s.
Alpine was an independent skunkworks-style car company using Renault engines to power its vehicles. The two companies got closer and closer until Renault finally took over Alpine’s operations completely in 1973.
1973 was a red-letter year for Alpine, and not only because it became part of Renault. The same year saw the first FIA World Rally Championship take place and the inaugural winner of the manufacturer’s trophy was none other than Renault-Alpine, running A110’s fitted with an 1800cc engine (Saab came first and second in the Swedish rally that year – Blomqvist and Eklund – with an Alpine A110 in third place).
The new A110-50 is a hint at some of the technology that might come from RenaultSport in the future. RenaultSport is, in many ways, the new Alpine. They make some of the most wonderful hot hatches in the world based on Renault’s Formula 1 and Formula Renault racing experience.
It’s significant, too, that RenaultSport weave their magic in Alpine’s old workshops, in Dieppe.
The new A110-50 uses the racing version of the Megane Trophy V6 as a base and incorporates much of it’s technology, whilst adding a few tricks of its own. The engine is the same V6 from the Trophy racer, making 400hp and 422Nm of torque from it’s 3.5 litres displacement.
And just how finished is this concept?
It’s got fully functioning racing stuff in it, such as the custom designed racing steering wheel with display and integral pneumatic jacks built in to facilitate quick tyre changes. There’s carbon fibre everywhere and it’s not just for decoration. The whole body is made from it as well as air intakes, etc.
The Renault Alpine A110-50 is one hot momma and it’s indicative of the kind of stuff that RenaultSport can do. Their regular vehicles are steaming hot as it is, but it’s very interesting to get an insight like this, as to what they might be capable of bringing to the road in the future.
Speaking of their regular vehicles……… I plan to have this one in my garage in 5-8 years from now.