Before focusing on its future, Alpine illustrates its glorious past.
2017 will mark a very important period in Alpine's history. As of next year, the Renault-owned sports carmaker will officially be brought back after a a slumber of nearly 22 years, with the new project spearheaded by a new sports car that'll have the Porsche 718 Cayman firmly in its sights. As the new coupe will be heavily inspired by the marque's most famous car, the cute A110 'berlinette', Alpine used the Cartier Style et Luxe to build up some brand awareness by flaunting the more distinctive versions of its cult classic rear-engined sports car.
It says a lot about the pull of the Cartier Style et Luxe Alpine gathering that, even with a whole host of Lamborghinis, vintage Rolls-Royces and pre-20th century vehicles on display, the various A110 models being showcased were amongst the most consistent crowd pullers being featured. Which is perfectly understandable, considering there were several models that showed the diddy rear-engined rally icon from Dieppe has far more heritage up its sleeve than its triumph in the inaugural World Rally Championship season. Coachbuilt one-off roadsters, pre-production prototypes and even a 'Willys Interlagos' version built under license in Brazil were just a handful of the varied A110 models being featured.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was a distinctive Alpine-based concept car that had been tucked away for so long that even Renault's heritage division didn't know the car had survived in private storage until January 2016. As with many cars of such an ilk, this 1977 Geneva Show star has an ace story to tell. It was originally pitched by Denis Meyrignac when he was just 12 years old, with the Alpine boss being so impressed that he gave the boy the chassis and running gear on which to build his 'Meyrignac A110' prototype. It's a shame that the car itself was hidden for so long, but we're especially grateful that Monsieur Meyrignac allowed his distinctive concept car to be shown on the Cartier lawn.