Alpine’s new A110 SportsX concept was unveiled today at the Festival Automobile International in Paris. Based on the entry-level A110 Pure, the concept has been widened by 80mm thanks to chunky contrasting wheel arches and raised by 60mm for enhanced ground clearance. It also has a black bonnet and roof, not forgetting race-inspired tape details across the fog lamps.
Atop the roof, a purpose-built ski rack ports two pairs of colour-coordinated skis. So it isn’t just good looking but it’s more practical, too.
It’s powered by the standard A110’s 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, which makes 248bhp and 320Nm of torque. This engine propels the standard car from 0-62mph in four and a half seconds, with a limited top speed of 155mph. It’s unlikely the SportsX will be able to accelerate quite so well (especially if it has more winter appropriate tyres), but if you were driving an A110 across a ski slope you probably wouldn’t care.
It’s a mid-engined sports car with the ski-carrying practicality of an SUV, then. And what better company than Alpine to trust for a capable sports off-roader? After all, the original A110, built between 1961 and 1977, went on to become one of the most successful rally cars of its era, rising to fame during the 1970, ’71 and ‘72 International Championship for Manufacturers, winning several events around Europe, including the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally in the hands of the Swedish driver Ove Andersson. And in 1973, shortly after Renault bought Alpine, the French manufacturer contested the A110 in the inaugural World Rally Championship season, winning most of the races and emerging victorious at the end of the season.
Sadly, there’s no sign yet that the SportsX concept will be joining the extensive line up of road and race A110s (including the A110 Cup, A110 GT4 and A110 Rally), with the manufacturer stating that it is not available for sale. But we can hope. And if it does come to fruition, it’s likely to be very, very popular.