Alpine, a division of Renault Group, announced that it will launch its first sports car in over two decades. The model, which is tentatively called A120, will feature a bespoke all-aluminium platform and upper body to ensure lightweight and agile handling. The A120 aims to be a homage to the iconic A110 that dominated the world of rallying during the 1960s. “Alpines made such a mark because of the elegance of their designs, their nimble handling and their memorable successes in world class motor racing and rallying,” said Michael van der Sande, Alpine’s managing director.
It has been reported that in addition to using aluminum in its frame, the sports car will also use aluminium for the majority of its bodywork, which will be welded directly to the frame. The company has noted aluminum as being not only key for weight loss and handling performance, but also surface finish. “The new Alpine’s frame is a fundamental feature of the car’s design since it is designed to house its engine, transmission, and suspension,” explained the company in an announcement. “Only a small number of carmakers use aluminum for the bodywork of their models. Forming, assembling, and welding aluminum calls for unique expertise and craftsmanship. The reward is a significant weight saving and an exceptional, high-quality finish.”
The new sports car will make its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2017. However, the company has already launched preorders for the “Premiere Edition,” which will have a 0-62 mph time of 4.5 seconds. The Premiere Edition version will be restricted to a total of 1,955 cars (a reference to the year when Alpine founder Jean Rédélé first established the brand), and will be the first of the new sports cars to be the first to come off the line in late 2017.