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Renault Alpine gets a touch of the Godzillas

The French Connection: The Renault Alpine A110-50 concept gets put through its paces at the Monaco Grand Prix on the weekend.

Nissan-based V6 engine powers Renault golden tribute to legendary Alpine 110

28 May 2012

NISSAN grunt meets French style in the raunchy Renault Alpine A110-50 concept that was unveiled at the Monaco Grand Prix at the weekend.

A 50th anniversary tribute to the original Alpine A110 Berlinette that first appeared at the 1962 Paris motor show, the new Alpine coupe was widely anticipated after a series of leaks and teaser videos over the past few weeks.

The Alpine A110-50’s styling builds on the design of the Renault DeZir concept car shown at the 2010 Paris extravaganza.

The design previews Renault’s new styling direction for upcoming models, while incorporating a number of design features from the original Berlinette, including the centrally mounted lights embedded in the front fascia. This time, the lights are defined by modern LED rings.

While the original Berlinette had a 1.6-litre engine from the Renault 8 and the DeZir was powered by an all-electric powertrain, the A110-50 is motivated by a mid-mounted petrol V6 packing 295kW at 7200rpm and 422Nm at 6200rpm.

The longitudinally mounted engine is normally aspirated, and yet has as much power as the related twin-turbo Nissan’s VQ V6 engine used by the ‘Godzilla’ Nissan GT-R.

However, the blown Nissan version has considerably more torque, at 612Nm.

The reworked V6 in the Renault, coded V4Y, is taken from the Renault Megane Trophy racecar, from which the A110-50 also borrows its tubular steel chassis with an identical 2625mm wheelbase.

35 center image Left: The Renault Alpine A110-50.

Air for the engine is drawn through a roof-mounted air inlet, which Renault says broadens the engine’s power band.

A twin-clutch semi-automatic six-speed gearbox can be operated either with the clutch pedal or steering wheel paddles, and power is delivered to the tarmac via the rear wheels.

The 21-inch wheels are held by a single nut in the race-car style, while the body is fashioned from carbon-fibre, painted in Alpine Blue – a homage to the original 1962 Alpine.

As well, an adjustable double wishbone suspension allows the two-seater sportscar to be set up for the track, while driving aids such as ABS and ESC are not included.

Large 365mm disc brakes are gripped by six-piston callipers at the front, while the rear 330mm discs have four-piston clampers.

The whole car weighs just 880kg, with less than half of that mass over the front axle.

While many within Renault would like to see a road-going production version, that remains up in the air.

Clearly, the concept is more of a race car than highway tourer, and would be an expensive proposition to put into everyday road use.

The original Alpine Berlinette was widely used as a rally car, scoring victories in events such as the 1971 and 1973 Monte Carlo Rallies, along with the inaugural World Rally Championship in 1973.

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