The Renault Alpine GTA and the succeeding A610 is a sports coupe automobile produced by the Renault-owned French manufacturer Alpine between late 1984 and 1995. It replaced the slow-selling Alpine A310, with which it shared many features including the layout and engine. The car underwent a substantive redesign in 1991, which is also when the new model name A610 was given.
|Renault Alpine GTA|
|Production||November 1984-February 1991|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2+2, 2-door coupé|
|Wheelbase||2,340 mm (92.1 in)|
|Length||4,330 mm (170.5 in)|
|Width||1,750 mm (68.9 in)|
|Height||1,200 mm (47.2 in)|
It was the first car launched by Alpine under Renault ownership (though Alpine had been affiliated with Renault for many years, with its earlier models using many Renault parts). Longer, wider, and taller, it effectively updated the design of its predecessor, the Alpine A310, updating that car's silhouette with modern design features like body-integrated bumpers and a triangular C-pillar with large rear windshield. Like its predecessor, it used the V6 PRV engine in a rear-engined layout, with extensive use of Polyester plastics and fibreglass for the body panels making it lighter and quicker than rivals such as the Porsche 944. Passenger room increased, making the rear seat more of a useful proposition, while equipment was much more complete and now included items such as power locks. It was one of the most aerodynamic cars of its time, the naturally aspirated version achieved a record 0.28 drag coefficient in its class. Due to its bigger tires and need for more cooling intakes, the Turbo's drag coefficient was a bit higher: 0.30 . The GTA name, used to denote the entire range of this generation, stands for "Grand Tourisme Alpine" but in most markets the car was marketed as the Renault Alpine V6 GT or as the Renault Alpine V6 Turbo. In Great Britain it was sold simply as the Renault GTA, as Sunbeam (and then Chrysler/Talbot) had been using the "Alpine" badge since the 1950s.
Rather than being moulded in a single piece as for the preceding A310, the new Alpine's body was moulded in a large number of small separate panels. This required a major overhaul of the Alpine plant, leaving only the sandblasting machinery intact. The car was also considerably more efficient to manufacture, with the time necessary to build a finished car dropping from 130 to 77 hours - which was still a long time, but acceptable for a small-volume specialty car. The PRV engine in the naturally aspirated model was identical to the version used in the Renault 25, a 2849 cc unit producing 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp). The small power gain compensated for the weight increase, up by 92 kg (203 lb). Also available was the more powerful turbocharged model, which used a smaller (2.5-liter) displacement.
The central backbone chassis (with outriggers for side impact protection) was built by Heuliez and then transferred to Dieppe - aside from the body, most of the car was subcontracted to various suppliers. The drivetrain was mounted on a separate subframe, meaning it can be removed in as little as two hours. It was also moved 40 mm (1.6 in) forward (making the rear overhang shorter while nearly all other dimensions increased) compared to the A310, improving somewhat on that car's tailwards weight distribution. The transmission was the same Renault 30-based unit that the A310 had used, with some minor changes and somewhat longer fourth and fifth gears. Those gears were taller yet for the GT Turbo model. At the time of introduction, daily production number amounted to ten cars. This soon dropped considerably, as the somewhat less than prestigious Renault had a hard time in the sports car marketplace. The average production for the six full years of production was just above 1000 per annum, or just above three per day - almost identical to the A310 V6's annual production.
The first model introduced was the naturally aspirated V6 GT (D 500), which entered production in November 1984, although press photos had been released in September 1984. The car was first shown at the 1985 Amsterdam Rai, immediately after which it also went on sale. In July 1985 the Europa Cup model appeared; this limited edition model was intended for a single-make racing championship and 69 cars were built (54 in 1985 and 15 more in 1987). In September 1985 the turbo model (D 501) followed, which increased the power of the PRV unit to 200 PS (147 kW). Sales of the naturally aspirated model were always sluggish, but with the more powerful turbo, things picked up considerably. At the 1986 Birmingham Show the right-hand-drive version was presented and UK sales, as the Renault GTA, commenced.
In early 1987 a catalyzed version appeared, with fifteen fewer horsepower. This meant that the Turbo could finally be sold in Switzerland, and later in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands when they adopted stricter legislation. The catalyzed model had lower gearing in fourth and fifth gears, in order to somewhat mask its power deficit. In 1988 anti-lock brakes became available. For the 1989 model year the Mille Miles version appeared. With the non-catalyzed engine, this model heralded a re-focus on the Alpine name. The Renault logo was gone from the car, with an alpine logo up front and a large "Alpine" print appearing between the taillights. However, as the name 'Alpine' could not be used in the UK the name Alpine was removed from cars destined for the UK; there was no large print at the back of these cars and a UK specific logo was fitted to the front of the car. The Mille Miles, a limited edition of 100 cars, also featured a special dark red metallic paintjob, polished aluminium wheels, and a large silver-gray triangular stripe with the Alpine "A" across the left side of the front.
In February 1990 the limited edition Le Mans arrived, this car had a more aggressive body kit with polyester wheel arch extensions and a one piece front with smaller headlights. Wheels were 3 piece BBS style produced by ACT, 8x16" front & 10x17" rear. Many of these changes were adopted for the succeeding A610. The regular V6 GT and V6 Turbo ended production during 1990, while the Le Mans version continued to be produced until February 1991. 325 of these were built in total. Also in 1990, Renault was forced to install the less powerful catalyzed engine in cars destined for the home market, leading to grumbling amongst Alpine enthusiasts about the loss of power (down to 185 PS or 136 kW) while the 25 Turbo saloon actually gained power when it became catalyzed. In response Danielson SA, a famous French tuner, created an upgraded version of the Le Mans with 210 PS (154 kW).
Renault had planned a federalized version of the Alpine V6 Turbo all along, originally for the 1986 model year, but development proceeded slowly. The US model had an emissions cleaned engine with 180 hp (134 kW; 182 PS), bigger bumpers, and flip-up headlamps (photo). Various crash safety improvements were also carried out, and it was planned to install a softer suspension. AMC/Renault was planning a mid-1987 introduction, hoping to sell 3,000 Alpines per year (with an additional 300 cars slated for Canada). In March 1987, however, Renault sold its share in American Motors to Chrysler and began to withdraw from the American and Canadian markets. Commentators had already expressed concern about AMC dealers being able to handle such an expensive and complicated car. By the time of the withdrawal, 21 pre-series cars had been finished. 12 of these were sold by Alpine directly to specially selected customers in France.
D50 A (USA)
|V6 Turbo Cat
D501 05 (CH)
|V6 Turbo Cat
|V6 Turbo Cat
"Le Mans" D502 05 A
|V6 Turbo Cat tuning|
"Le Mans" D502 05 A (Danielson)
|Engine size||2849 cc||2458 cc|
|Compression ratio||9.5 : 1||8.6 :1||8 : 1|
|Max power||160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) at 5750 rpm||200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) at 5750 rpm||182 PS (134 kW; 180 hp) at 5900 rpm||185 PS (136 kW; 182 hp) at 5500 rpm||185 PS (136 kW; 182 hp) at 5750 rpm||185 PS (136 kW; 182 hp) at 5750 rpm||210 PS (154 kW; 207 hp) at 5200 rpm|
|Max torque||221 N⋅m (163 lb⋅ft) at 3500 rpm||285 N⋅m (210 lb⋅ft) at 2500 rpm||276 N⋅m (204 lb⋅ft) at 4000 rpm||288 N⋅m (212 lb⋅ft) at 2250 rpm||288 N⋅m (212 lb⋅ft) at 2200 rpm||288 N⋅m (212 lb⋅ft) at 2200 rpm||350 N⋅m (260 lb⋅ft) at 2200 rpm|
|Fuel||RON 97||RON 95 or 98 unleaded|
|Carburetor||Carburetor SC 34 + DC 35||electronic injection|
|Air supply||atmospheric||Turbocharged 0.65 bar (9.4 psi)||Turbocharged 0.70 bar (10.2 psi)||Turbocharged 1.0 bar (15 psi)|
|Kilometer start-stop||28.4 s||26.8 s||-||-||-||27.5 s||26.7 s|
|0 to 100 km/h||8.0 s||7.0 s||-||7.0 s||7.0 s||6.7 s||5.7 s|
|Max speed||235 km/h (146 mph)||250 km/h (160 mph)||-||238 km/h (148 mph)||243 km/h (151 mph)||240 km/h (150 mph)||247 km/h (153 mph)|
|Consumption 90 km/h
7.0 L/100 km
6.4 L/100 km
7.1 L/100 km
8.3 L/100 km
|Fuel tank||72 L (15.8 imp gal; 19.0 US gal)||72 L (15.8 imp gal; 19.0 US gal) + 1 L (0.2 imp gal; 0.3 US gal)||57 L (12.5 imp gal; 15.1 US gal)||72 L (15.8 imp gal; 19.0 US gal) + 1 L (0.2 imp gal; 0.3 US gal)|
|Aerodynamic||Cx : 0.28
SCx : 0.48
|Cx : 0.30
SCx : 0.51
|Cx : 0.30|
SCx : 0.59
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2+2, 2-door coupe|
|Layout||Longitudinally-mounted, rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive|
|Engine||3.0 L PRV turbo V6|
|Power output||250 PS (247 bhp; 184 kW) and 350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft) of torque|
|Wheelbase||2,340 mm (92.1 in)|
|Length||4,420 mm (174.0 in)|
|Width||1,762 mm (69.4 in)|
|Height||1,188 mm (46.8 in)|
|Successor||Alpine A110 (2017)|
The successor to the Alpine GTA, the Alpine A610 was produced by the Renault-owned French manufacturer Alpine from 1991 to 1995. Due to a limited budget at the beginning of the project, its appearance does not differ much from the GTA, and it looks quite similar to the USA GTA with its pop-up headlights. Nonetheless, it is a completely different car, sharing only the windows with the GTA. The basic concepts of all Alpine cars are there (e.g. the rear engine, and the steel backbone chassis that all Alpines since the A110 have had). The car was solely branded as an Alpine, as linking Alpine and Renault together (first as Alpine-Renault then Renault-Alpine) seemed to detract from the Alpine brand's sporty image. The PRV engine remained, but it was enlarged to 3.0 litres (2,975 cc), which enabled it to produce 250 PS (247 bhp; 184 kW) at 5,750 rpm and 350 N⋅m (258 lbf⋅ft) of torque at 2,900 rpm. The engine was originally 2,975 cc (3.0 L; 181.5 cu in), but as with all PRV engines, it was downsized to 2,963 cc (3.0 L; 180.8 cu in) in March 1993 to better fit the Swiss taxation system.
The A610 Albertville 92 was presented in 1991 for the Olympic Games. Two examples, and other Renault cars, were used to drive VIPs, before being sold. They had a specific color (Gardenia White) and interior, but used the standard engine and technical specifications.
The A610 Magny-Cours was created for the Williams-Renault Formula One victory in the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours in July 1991. 31 cars were built, with specific color and interior. They carry a "Magny-Cours" legend on the doors and have body-colored rims.
The A610 did not result in an improvement in sales over the commercially disappointing GTA and the car was discontinued in 1995, despite acclaim from the motoring press, and approval from the British car show Top Gear. The A610 was to be the last car to carry the Alpine name until the 2017 release of the new Alpine A110. After production of the A610 ended, the Alpine factory in Dieppe produced the Renault Spider. 818 were built, 67 of which were right-hand-drive. Sales the first two years were acceptable, but from 1993 until production ended in 1995 a mere 80 cars were built.
In Jeremy Clarkson’s 2007 direct to DVD film ‘Supercar Showdown’, the production infamously destroyed a particularly rare right-hand-drive example of the A610, by driving it into a concrete K-rail.
|Model||A610 - D 503 05|
|Engine type||PRV 90º V6 Code: Z7X-744|
Rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout
|Fuel feed||Renix Bendix-Siemens fuel injection|
|Valvetrain||SOHC 4 valves per cylinder|
|Bore X Stroke||93 mm × 73 mm (3.66 in × 2.87 in)|
72.7 mm (2.86 in) stroke from March 1993
2963 cc from March 1993
|Max. power||250 PS (247 bhp; 184 kW) at 5,750 rpm|
|Max. torque||350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft) at 2,900 rpm|
|Catalytic converter||3-way Lambda-sensor|
|Fuel type||RON 95 or 98 unleaded petrol|
|Aspiration||Garrett AiResearch T3 Turbocharger 0.76 bar (11.0 psi)|
|Gearbox||5 speed manual transmission|
|Kilometer start-stop||25 to 26 s|
|0 to 100 km/h (62 mph)||5.9 s or 5.7 s|
|Max. speed||265 km/h (165 mph)|
|Consumption 90 km/h (56 mph)
120 km/h (75 mph)
7.3 l/100 km (39 mpg‑imp; 32 mpg‑US)
|Fuel tank||80 L (17.6 imp gal; 21.1 US gal)|
|Aerodynamic Drag coefficient||Cx : 0.30 - SCx : 0.54|
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Media related to Renault Alpine A610/GTA at Wikimedia Commons