The Alpine Berlinette turns 50 this year and, to mark the event, Renault has created a concept car named Renault Alpine A110-50.
Produced with the renowned expertise of Renault Sport Technologies, the Renault Alpine A110-50 concept car is imbued with the world of motorsport.
It benefits from Renault’s experience gained from the racing Mégane Trophy, using the same technical platform with its 3.5-litre 24-valve 396bhp V6 engine mounted in a mid-rear position.
The Renault Alpine A110-50 borrows more components from the Mégane Trophy V6, including its carbon air intake fed by a roof-mounted scoop – this broadens the engine’s power band, providing additional horsepower at all engine speeds.
A semi-automatic six-speed sequential gearbox is fitted, together with a twin-plate clutch that can be controlled using either the clutch pedal or
paddles on the steering wheel. The gearbox, which is fitted longitudinally behind the engine, incorporates a limited-slip differential with adjustable pre-loading. The Alpine A110-50 is also fitted with a cera-metallic twin-plate clutch, which is activated automatically when downshifting.
Axel Breun, Renault Concept and Show Car Director, said “Developing this concept car was a great adventure. It was a catalyst for creativity. We wanted to make a Berlinette that was of our time, and which boldly embodies Renault’s passion for motorsport. We were guided by our hearts and emotions.
“The car is very curvy, like the Berlinette, while expressing the three key words of our new design policy: simple, sensual and friendly.”
The Alpine A110-50 is Renault’s way of showing its full sporting DNA and technical capabilities in a package which screams about their passion for motorsport.
The Renault Alpine A110-50 concept is based on the Renault DeZir concept, first shown at the 2010 Paris motor show, and aims to take the most characteristic design features of the original A110 and interpret them in a modern and spectacular way.
The body is adopts sculpted forms to show its elegant, flowing bodywork, enhanced by lights over which air seems to flow effortlessly. The half-domed additional lamps, deliver a technical but nostalgic interpretation of the A110, thanks to full LED yellow lighting. A characteristic 3D rear window reveals the mid-rear engine, whilst air intakes on each side echo the ducts on the rear wheel arches of the original Berlinette. On the A110-50 concept, the right-hand duct is for gearbox cooling, while the left feeds air to the engine bay.
The carbon-fibre bodywork features a new shade of blue which reinterprets the famous original ‘Alpine Blue’, with a splash of orange on the side-panels just like Audi’s R8. The doors open with a scissor motion, whilst the bonnet hinges at the front and the engine bay cover opens
towards the rear.
Inside the Alpine A110-50
As you climb into the driving seat, your eye is drawn to the carbon-fibre sills. Everything inside this two-seater shouts sportiness, with a predominance of black covering the roof, seats and dashboard. The driver’s seat features embroidered ‘Renault Alpine A110-50’ badging, Sabelt full harness seat belts and a race helmet provided by Ruby.
The dashboard is ‘competition car’ uncluttered and features a Renault Design steering wheel and a colour screen information display using the same technology as a Formula Renault 3.5 single-seater.
Chassis and suspension
The wheelbase of the Renault Alpine A110-50 is identical to that of Mégane Trophy (2,625mm), while the track is slightly wider at 1,680mm front and 1,690mm at the rear. 21-inch wheels, with a single central nut, are unique to the Alpine A110-50 and fitted with road homologated Michelin tyres.
Sachs dampers can be adjusted for compression and rebound, and are mounted directly onto the lower wishbones. As you would expect, the suspension is fully customisable for the road or track conditions with numerous different set-up options including castor, camber alignment, ride height and roll.
In order to improve driver feedback, driving aids such as anti-lock braking (ABS), traction control and stability control are not fitted to the A110-50.
The tubular chassis, donated by the Mégane Trophy has been stiffened and undergone several developments to suit the Alpine A110-50’s road use. The roll cage and bracing in the engine bay have been modified (lowered) to suit the vehicle’s height, and weight distribution has been optimised to position 47.8% of the A110-50’s mass over the front wheels.
Pneumatic jacks are fitted for ease of ‘servicing’, making the process of changing wheels as straightforward as it is in endurance racing.
Whilst mechanical grip is suitably glue-like, the Alpine A110-50 concept car is substantially enhanced by the downforce generated by the ground effects of its aerodynamics. At the front, a splitter hidden in the bumper generates low pressure, which results in significant downforce, whilst at the rear, a diffuser accelerates air flow beneath the floor. Ground effect therefore accounts for more than one-third of the car’s downforce, with the rest coming from an adjustable rear wing.
With a kerb weight of just 880kg, 396bhp and 318lb-ft (422Nm) of torque, the Alpine A110-50’s performance is bound to be impressive, but since it is primarily a race car (in this concept format) Renault have neglected to quote any performance figures. Even if they bypass the traditional 0-60mph and top speed numbers used for road cars, we’d be especially curious to see just how well it runs on the Nurburgring Nordschliefe.