Renault is set to launch the company’s revived Alpine brand in Australia with the all-new Alpine A110 expected to hit local showrooms in June next year.
While exact pricing is still to be confirmed, Renault’s Australian managing director Andrew Moore told assembled media at the car’s launch in France this week that he anticipated a price of around $90,000 to $100,000.
Sales in Australia will be kept low, with Renault set to comply with a Voluntary Code of Practice from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries that puts a limit of 100 units on vehicles it sells without side airbag protection. (Suzuki's outgoing Jimny is subject to the same commitment.)
Australia won’t be receiving any of the 1955 Premiere Edition models, however, all of which have been pre-sold to the European market. The very specific number of 1955 examples is an homage to the year Alpine was founded. Instead, Australia will receive the performance-focussed Pure edition, which misses out on minor features such as a commemorative nameplate on the dash and Alpine logo stitching on the seats. There is also a comfort-focussed Legend edition which Australia won’t receive.
Moore confirmed interest in the mid-engined, rear-wheel drive coupe was already higher than anticipated.
“So far, we've got deposits on around 10 vehicles. We've done very little marketing at this stage.
"We’ve probably had slightly higher interest than anticipated at this point. I think the fact that customers have walked into dealers and said ‘we want to order the car’ and put down a deposit with what isn't actually the official dealer network, speaks highly.”
Renault Australia is still in the process of determining how the Alpine A110 will be sold through its 56-strong dealer network. However, Moore hinted the brand would look to establish Alpine-exclusive showrooms within existing dealerships, initially with one each in Sydney and Melbourne.
“The dealerships will be exclusive Alpine, with exclusive sales consultants that will have a great understanding and full training on the vehicle. And obviously those dealers will be able to provide all the after-sales care that customers need.”
The Alpine A110 marks a renaissance for the French brand that started life as an independent manufacturer in France in 1955. Renault acquired Alpine in 1973 before retiring the brand in 1995.
However, after several false starts in the first decade of the 21st century, and a subsequent ill-fated partnership with Caterham, Renault confirmed the brand would be revived in 2014.
The company revealed the futuristic Alpine Vision Gran Turismo concept in 2015, and later showed off the Alpine Celebration concept. That second show car forms the basis of the final Alpine A110 design revealed in March this year.
Powered by a turbocharged 1.8-litre, inline four cylinder petrol engine, mated exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the A110 can accelerate from 0-100km/h in a claimed 4.5 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to 250km/h.