Many vehicles are part of the fan’s imagination with certain colors and decorations. The Gulf concept is known to petrolheads with a very determined combination of orange, white and blue. Something similar happens with Alpine Blue, a tone that was part of the recovery of the mythical French berlinetta of indisputable beauty and more than fun driving. Any passionate about gasoline will close their eyes and imagine the model on rally stages of the 60s and 70s . Doing so will paint your image a very specific blue, since the collective subconscious associates the tone with that of some Renault group sports models. However, something that you might not know is that there are more than one Alpine Blue and that the designers of the firm have come to reveal to us.
The exploits of the A110 in the golden age of rallying have survived to this day, and many of us joyfully celebrate the return of the Alpine concept to our lives. Today it is a two-seater with a clear playful approach, weighing just 1,173 kilograms powered by a 1.8-liter 252 hp and 320 Nm engine between 2,000 and 5,000 revolutions per minute. The set-up of the current A110 is most interesting, given that it maintains traction on the rear axle and signs remarkable performance, with an acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 4.5 seconds and top speed limited to 250 km / h. It is a clear rival to recognized models such as the Porsche 718 Spyder and even an Audi TT.
Returning to the subject that concerns us today, its color, the beginnings of Alpine were not stained blue. When Jean Rédélé presented his first A100s to the then CEO of Renault, Pierre Dreyfus, he did so in 3 different colors: blue, white and red . That happened on the esplanade of the Billancourt factory in the summer of 1955 . What’s more, the A106 debuted in competition in white and light blue. A shade that buyers of the street model did not usually choose, who opted for whites, yellows and reds. For this reason, and asked about the current color offer, the Renault group anticipates that there may be color surprises in the future Alpine range.
The appearance of metallic blue came with the A110, the French berlinetta that catapulted it to stardom. This iconic shade was first used following a request from a customer looking for blue called Panama. Jacques Cheinisse, a salesman for the brand and an amateur pilot in his spare time, saw that blue and also ordered it for the A110 he ordered in early 1963 . With it he entered a rally and his choice ended up being applied to all Alpine racing. Until 1967 the A110s ran in blue for France, red for Italy, green for Great Britain and silver for Germany, among others.
Of course, that type of blue was not the only one that was available in the Alpine’s color palette. The so-called Panama was referred to as RE 331 but there were the metallic blues “Acier”, “Pacifique”, “Azur” and “Estoril”. In the words of Antony Villain, Alpine Design Director: “Indeed, there has never been a single Alpine Blue . Also, at that time, there were many yellow, red, orange colors… ”. What’s more, the model’s successes in competition meant that some owners will change the hues later, with more Alpine A110 blue now than leaving the factory .
But times change and resurfacing like a Phoenix means adapting to new trends. It was in 2012 that Renault introduced the A110-50 concept car , a tribute to the model’s history with the iconic blue tonality. That was the color that was used to run the World Endurance Championship and it is found today in street models, as in the Alpine Elf Matmut Endurance Team and in the A521 of the Alpine F1 Team, which is lighter according to the sponsors.