Sunday 1 April 2012
The Alpine A310 was a sports car built by French manufacturer Alpine, from 1971 to 1984. Dieppe-based Alpine, once an independent company specialising in faster Renaults, later a Renault subsidiary, established a fine competition history with the Alpine A110 winning the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally and World Rally Championship. The successor was the Alpine A310, initially powered by tuned 17TS/Gordini four-cylinder engine, still rear mounted. The maximum power reaching 127 PS DIN (93.5 kW/125 hp), thanks to the use of 2 twin barrel 45 DCOE Weber carburetors.
In 1976 the A310 was restyled by Robert Opron and fitted with the more powerful and newlydeveloped 90 degree 2700 cc V6 PRV engine. As used in up-range Renaults, Volvos and Peugeots this lifted the car into the lower echelons of the sports car league, where the Porsche was a dominant player. The basis of the A310 was a hefty tubular steel backbone chassis, clothed in a tough fiberglass shell. Like the ill-fated De Lorean DMC-12, which used the same PRV powertrain, the engine was mounted longitudinally in the rear, driving forward to the wheels through a manual 5 speed gearbox. With 149 bhp (111 kW) on tap, the A310 PRV V6 was Renault's performance flagship capable of 220 km/h (137 mph) and neck straining acceleration. Despite the tail-heavy weight distribution (like Porsche 911), handling was safe and rewarding.