Autos

Alpine A120 sports car previewed with pictures of lightweight seat


Renault’s Alpine A120 has been previewed once again ahead of its Geneva motor show debut, with new pictures of its seats. Alpine says one of its ultra-lightweight quilted leather seats weighs 13.1kg but still provides impressive lateral support.

Alpine A120 sports car previewed with pictures of lightweight seat

Alpine A120 sports car previewed with pictures of lightweight seat

The manufacturer is ramping up its coverage of the car in the run up to Geneva, and recently released illustrations showing the aerodynamic effects of its flat floor and rear diffuser. Of that particular design, an Alpine spokesman said: “Air flow will be a key factor in the new Alpine’s performance and efficiency.

The combination of a flat floor, a technique carried over from the world of supercars and high-level motor racing, and a rear diffuser located beneath the rear bumper will allow significant downforce and excellent stability.”

This design has negated the need for a rear spoiler, allowing for a sleeker design that mimics the look of the original A110 from which the new model takes inspiration.

Alpine A120 sports car previewed with pictures of lightweight seat

Alpine A120 sports car previewed with pictures of lightweight seat

Earlier images showed the car’s alumnium structure (see gallery), emphasising a focus on lightness.

Alpine has confirmed that 1955 examples of a special Premier Edition of the A120 will be built, with the first cars being made available in 12 European countries before being extended to the UK and Japan some months later. Alpine said further countries will be added later.

Autocar understands that the A120 will use a 1.8-litre engine derived from the turbocharged 1.6-litre unit used in the Renault Clio RS, although this is yet to be confirmed. An output of 250bhp is expected, and the car will hit 62mph from rest in 4.5sec. A 300bhp performance variant is also on the cards, as is a convertible.

A deposit of €2000 (around £1700) secures one of the first cars, and prospective buyers will need a bespoke Alpine app to choose their car.

The Alpine was leaked on to the internet late last year via video in camouflaged form shortly after spy photographers spotted it testing in public. The car’s design appears to have stayed true to that of the concept that was revealed one year ago.

Three cars are shown in the video, each with different wheels, suggesting more than one variant will be offered. The car will also be offered in three colours: black, white and blue.

Alpine’s inaugural car is being expected to take the A120 name in homage to the high-performance Alpine A110 model of the 1960s and 1970s, although this is yet to be confirmed.

Alpine A120 sports car previewed with pictures of lightweight seat

Alpine A120 sports car previewed with pictures of lightweight seat

What is clear to see from the video on the Alpine site is that the cars are rear-wheel drive, and have a vent on the rear hatch beneath the rear glass; confirming that the car will be mid-engined.

The video’s finishing tag line of ‘Alpine is back!, as well as the video’s uploader being Alpine rather than Renault, suggests that the cars will be produced under a standalone brand rather than as Renaults.

Following the launch of the Alpine sports car, it’s expected that the brand will launch further models, including a Porsche Macan-rivalling SUV. The site says that the car will be priced between €55,000 and €60,000 (between £46,750 and £51,000), so the A120 will be a direct rival to the Porsche Cayman. Source: autocar

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