2018 Alpine A110 first drive: A legend now, as then

Alpine is back. And blimey, isn’t that something? In a new car market increasingly dominated by unpredictable emissions regulations and rather un-enthusiast-appropriate SUV body shapes, Alpine being reborn is for sports car lovers like finding an Evian spring in the desert.

To the average moderately car-oriented person, it likely seems odd the fervour that Alpine’s resurrection has whipped up; this is a brand that disappeared altogether in the mid-‘90s and had its brightest, most memorable moments in the ‘70s.

But then again, like a lot of enthusiasts out there, I grew up listening to my dad talk about all things rallying. Everything from Lancia Stratos', Porsche 911s, Ford Escorts, Mini Coopers, and this car's ancestor, the unfeasibly beautiful Alpine A110

2018 Alpine A110
2018 Alpine A110
2018 Alpine A110

Long a dewy-eyed, nostalgic milestone in rallying history given that – most notably - it wiped the board in the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally and went on to take the manufacturer’s title in the 1973 WRC overall.

But how do you equate that with a £50,000 sports car in 2018? 

First impressions

Well, you do it properly. With something that looks awesome, doesn’t weigh much and comes with an engine in the middle and the rear-wheels driven. 

And it looks wonderful, no? Distinctly different to everything else out there, with the unmistakable twin round headlights of the jaw-droppingly stunning original Alpine A110, and flared wheelarches and a wraparound rear windscreen to top off the modern retro design. It’s also only 1.8m wid...