In something of a controversial departure this week, our Goodwood Greats is a concept car. Yep, among the many fabled machines we photographed in the temporary studio we erected at the Festival of Speed this year, like the Fiat S76 and Ken Block’s Hoonicorn Mustang, we decided that this stunning Alpine concept was deserving of ‘the treatment.’
We sat down with designer Anthony Villian at FoS who gave us an insight into the car and how Alpine was using the event to celebrate its sixtieth anniversary. He explained how it was important that the car wasn’t ‘… sat on a carpet at a motor show’, which was illustrated when none other than Lord March took it for a spirited spin up the Goodwood hill.
But, more than the historical significance of the car and the fact that it was a pukka driving concept car is the fact that it looks the absolute business. Much credit is due to Monsieur Villain for not simply producing an updated pastiche of a previous model. Instead, whilst keeping one eye on Alpine‘s heritage – particularly where the front end treatment echoes the classic A110 – he has created something that manages to be both bold and new and recognisable as an Alpine at the same time.
Villain has said of the car: ‘We envisaged the Alpine Celebration show car as the crowning glory of six decades of Alpine style and motor racing. But we wanted to go even further by reaching out to a much broader audience.’ Judging by the reaction of the show-goers who saw the car in the F1 paddock we’d say that the ‘broader audience’ was very pleased by what it saw. In fact, it was the sight of so many people admiring the car that first drew us to it, after which we just had to get it in the studio. Looks great, doesn’t it?
Hopefully before too long we’ll see a car not too dissimilar to this one used by Renault to relaunch the Alpine brand. If, as expected, it adheres closely to the Alpine ethos of relatively modest power from a willing motor and minimal weight, we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that GRR is on the list of invitees who get an early drive.
Photography by Anthony Fraser