Those familiar with the story of the original Alpine A110 know it as a legend in the world of rallying. Today, the modern A110 and A110S are featherweight sports cars that trade on both that heritage and the fact that, well, they’re pretty darn good to drive. Now Alpine has released details of the A110 SportsX concept, a concept variant prepared to tackle rougher terrain than its roadgoing siblings, while also serving as a more direct reminder of its down-and-dirty motorsports roots.
The SportsX has 2.3 inches of extra ground clearance, and its width has been beefed up by just over 3 inches. Those increases may not seem like much, but they effect big changes to the lithe and small A110’s overall stance and proportions. The engine hasn’t been touched, so it’s still a 1.8-liter, 249-hp turbocharged inline-four mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. That’s plenty of oomph for a car that weighs just 2,432 pounds in normal spec, and we doubt the off-road/adventure addenda of the SportsX add too much extra weight. Among those bits: plastic body cladding over the wheel arches for additional protection and a rack for two sets of skis perched atop the rear window.
Additional cosmetic details include a blacked-out hood, satin-white paint, a more aggressive-looking front fascia, X-shaped “tape” over the foglamps to prevent shattering, bigger wheels, and all-season tires. We think the SportsX looks just about perfect, but although we hope Renault-Alpine decides someday to make it a reality, it’s likely to stay a concept. That’s too bad—and hurts almost as much as the fact that the A110 isn’t offered at all in the States.