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KEEPING YOU IN TOUCH - YOUR FREE MONTHLY NEWSPAPER DELIVERED DOOR-TO-DOOR FOR 31 YEARS


MOTORING NEWS


Alpine A110 Interior PHOTO © RENAULT PRESS Left hand drive, RHD examples not yet ready


We’ve seen retro versions of the Beetle, Mini and Fiat’s super-chic 500. Citroën regenerated the DS, and now Renault has reincarnated its legendary Alpine which is acknowledged as being one of the world’s greatest sports cars.


Though the newly-launched Alpine A110 takes it appellation from the sleek sports coupé that made its debut at the Paris Motor Show in 1962, the brand’s origins lie deep within Renault history. The founder of the marque was Jean Rédélé whose father Émile had operated a Renault dealership in Northern France since the 1920s. Age 24 in 1946, Jean took over its running, and in addition to revitalising the business after the ravages of war, was, by 1950, successfully competing in motor sport events with the small rear-engined Renault 4CV which rivalled the like of the Morris Minor, Ford Anglia, Volkswagen and Fiat’s Topolino. Five years later he created the Renault-based Alpine sports car.


Renault incorporated Alpine in the early 1970s and in 1995 ceased production. Since then numerous tantalising rumours emerging from Renault have hinted at developing a new model, and now, this spring, deliveries of this awesome sports car are commencing.


That the A110 takes styling cues from its former sporting icon adds to its appeal, charisma and promising performance. At a price of around £52,000, anticipated to nudge that of the Jaguar F-Type Coupé, Alfa Romeo 4C and Porsche Cayman, the Alpine nicely dodges the supercar league, and all the better for doing so. Despite borrowing


INFO@THECOCKERMOUTHPOST.CO.UK Alpine A110 on its Geneva debut PHOTO © RENAULT PRESS


some of its interior features, such as switchgear and controls, from other Renault models, there’s definitely no such reliance when it comes to the Alpine’s engine. Instead of a big V6 or V8 under the bonnet there’s a potent 1798cc turbocharged four- cylinder petrol affair which, regardless of its modest configuration, provides breathtaking yet controlled handling. Acceleration from standing to 62mph comes in just 4.5 seconds on way to a top speed that’s limited to 155mph, while the formidable transmission is courtesy of a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox sending power to the rear wheels.


Getting behind the wheel sets an adrenalin rush as you snugly fit into the confines of the sports-appointed cabin with its low-set seats and perfect driving position. Making the Alpine so compelling is that it subtly bridges the fine line between supercar performance when you want it, and the satisfaction of a finely behaved daily driving sports car.


If it’s a more modest sports car with no end of fun that’s your choice, the new limited edition Mazda MX-5 Z-Sport might be just the answer. With its Deep Cherry Red fabric


hood, Grey Metallic paint and Sand coloured leather upholstery, this is the stand- out car featuring Bilstein suspension dampers and a limited slip differential for outstanding performance, all for £25,595. The latest MX-5 in both roadster and coupé- convertible styles has amassed a wealth of awards, and this 2-litre special edition Z-Sport of which just 300 cars are offered is not only going to be fervently subscribed, but is assured of classic status.


Mazda MX-5 Z-Sport PHOTO © MAZDA PRESS


Malcolm Bobbitt www.wheelspinautomedia.co.uk


ISSUE 423 | 22 FEBRUARY 2018 | 52


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