Alpine is a name that won't mean much to most Australians, but the French manufacturer has set the mark high with its (re-)entry to the market, with its sights firmly set on the segment-leading Porsche 718 Cayman.
Speaking to media today at Motorclassica in Melbourne, Andrew Moore, Alpine Australia managing director, didn't hesitate in naming the mid-engined, four-cylinder Porsche as the A110's primary target. He also wrote off the (similarly-sized and priced) Alfa Romeo 4C, which is getting near the end of its life cycle.
"A lot of people have mentioned the Alfa 4C," Moore said, standing alongside a blue A110 Premiere Edition at Motorclassica.
"I don't want to sound smug, but I think the Alfa brand is a bit more mainstream," he went on.
"Alpine is a unique vehicle, [with] the racing heritage. That's where for me – Porsche has that racing heritage – the Cayman has a bit more appeal to a high-end buyer, which is where I think Alpine, being low volume, will have the same appeal."
There are limitations to the A110's pursuit of Porsche, though. For one, volume will be limited. Very limited. As in, extremely limited.
An initial allocation of 60 A110 Premiere Editions are headed for our shores, of which 32 are already sold, while a further 100 cars are likely to get here in 2019.
Brighton Renault will be the only Alpine dealer from launch, with a second site in Sydney likely to follow, limiting the A110's initial reach. Don't get too upset, though: apparently we're lucky to be getting the car at all.
"We're pretty lucky that we're actually able to bring the vehicle in," Moore explained.
"There's plenty of countries that aren't getting it, so we were pretty lucky that the lobbying was done, and that the guy that actually runs the sales arm... has had a history in Australia," he went on.
"We probably got a little bit of a leg up to get the vehicles in."