Come on, it's time to appreciate French cars again. This is the perfect start.
Americans love to hate just about anything French, especially cars. We think it’s about time to get over that way of thinking because some - not all - French-made products, notably cars, are very much worth your hard-earned dollars, not only Euros. Take the just revealed Alpine A110 two-seater sports car, for example. Will it come to the US? We certainly hope so, and it’s a question we might even receive an answer to next week at Geneva for the car’s official reveal.
So why is the Alpine A110 needed in Trump’s America? For seven reasons: First off, it's gorgeous, and the production-spec version strongly resembles last year's equally stunning concept. The main difference, from what we can tell based on the two images Alpine released, is that the side mirrors are bigger, meeting regulation size. That’s fine. Second, its powertrain, a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with an output of about 300 hp. No manual will be offered, but we’ll gladly take the dual-clutch that will be standard. That engine/tranny combo helps the A110 hit 60 mph from a standstill in an impressive 4.5 seconds.
Third, the A110 is slippery as hell. It’s so aerodynamic, thanks to its lightweight full aluminum platform and body, that a rear wing isn’t necessary. Fourth, its chassis setup has been engineered by the same brilliant Renault technicians who did, for example, the Clio RS, arguably one of the best front-wheel-drive hot hatches ever. Fifth, the A110 has pedigree. It’s bonafied. Its ancestry can be traced directly back to one of the coolest sports cars of the 1960s, the original A110. It became a successful rally car, achieving victory in the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally, for example. Though the reborn A110 isn’t butt-engined like the original, its mid-engined setup is ideal.
The sixth reason why its needed is that Renault’s sister company, Nissan, needs a new sports car, considering the 370Z has been around since 2009. We still don’t know if a Z car replacement is coming, but importing the A110 and selling it at Nissan dealerships would save the automaker a lot of moolah in development and production costs. It’s not like sports coupes are selling in droves these days. Just ask Toyota and Subaru how 86 and BRZ sales are going, respectively. Lastly, the A110 deserves to be on American roads because it’s the perfect car to make us want French cars again. Everything deserves a second chance, and something tells me the Alpine A110 is the ideal French automotive ambassador to the US.