Alpine A110: Rebirth of an icon

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Photos / Supplied

Photos / Supplied

The teasing is all but over for the newest Renault brand

These are the first official images of the new Alpine A110 -- the Renault-developed, mid-engined sports car set to go head-to-head with the Porsche 718 Cayman by the end of the year.

It won't be shown in the flesh until next week's Geneva Motor Show, but to whet the appetite the French brand has released two pictures showing the svelte two-seater in all its glory.

It's the first model in the rebirth of the iconic Alpine sub-brand two decades after Renault killed it off and is expected to go on sale in the UK with a price tag of about NZ$86,000.

It may look familiar - that's because these images of the production-ready car show a design that is almost identical to the Alpine Vision (bellow) concept teased just over a year ago at the Monte Carlo Rally.

And that's not the only throwback here, as it not only revives the Alpine brand but also the A110 model name that the original 1960s rally-winning sportscars wore.

All technical data is being withheld until next week's official unveiling at the Swiss autoshow, although Renault has confirmed

it will have a full aluminium construction, with both the platform and upper body

made from the lightweight material for "optimum weight saving agility".

It features the same compact dimensions as the concept car, with the identical distinctive dual front LED lights bridged by the word "Alpine" across the bumper -- in-keeping with the design of the original A110 that was built between 1961 and 1977 and won the first World Rally Championship in 1973.

It even carries over some of the unique detail touches from the concept, such as the French flag behind the door pillar, the Alpine logo on the front wings and the manufacturer's name on the brake calipers.

Renault hasn't released an official image of what the rear looks like, but based on the two pictures so far, expect it to mirror the Alpine Vision design closely.

With a turbocharged four-cylinder motor promised to sit behind the seats in the middle of the chassis, it should be capable of accelerating from 0 to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds.

A higher performance RenaultSport tuned version has also been rumoured.

Based on the expected performance and price range, the Alpine A110 will go up against vehicles such as Porsche's 718 Cayman and Audi's mega potent TTRS models.

Throw into the mix the Alfa Romeo 4C and Jaguar F-Type and the competition looks increasingly stiff for the returning rally legend.

Speaking last year, when the concept was unveiled for the first time, Renault boss Carlos Ghosn said the new car would be the first of a new family with the Alpine sub-brand featuring a range of models.

"Alpine is back," he said in February 2016. "We're putting in place the first stepping stone of something that will be much bigger. We're building a brand. We'll take it step by step. The future brand will be global."

-Daily Mail

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