There was a time, not very long ago, when Renault thought that it could wrest away drivers from Porsche by offering them a powerful, rear-wheel drive car with the kind of performance normally emanating from Stuttgart. The 1984 Renault Alpine GTA / A610 was in production until 1996, and while it certainly didn’t make a dent in Porsche’s prestige (or pockets, for that matter), the Alpine was an exceptional car nonetheless. It was rust-free, thanks to its plastic body panels, and was surprinsigly usable, for a car with Supercar-beating performance. It was also extremely reliable.
In the first years of the Alpine GTA, the car was offered with a 2.5-liter engine, with the option of turbocharging, for a total of 200 horsepower. The fastest models appeared after 1992, with a 3-liter, turbocharged model that produced 250 horsepower when turbocharged. The A610, as it was now called, could reach an incredible top speed of 160 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 mph in as little as 6 seconds when ordered with the turbocharged engine. The suspension was also tweaked, and any possible lag removed from the turbo.
While the A610 was widely praised for its speed, refinement and handling, it could never beat the Porsche 911 at its own game, and sadly, that’s what the 1984 Renault Alpine GTA / A610 will be remembered for.