Alpine has revealed more technical details of its new A110 lightweight sports car, but potential Australian customers are still being kept waiting as to whether it will go on sale here.
Speaking at the Geneva Motor Show, Alpine managing director said production of a small number of right-hand drive A110s was confirmed for the United Kingdom and Japan, but Australia wasn't yet on the company's sales radar.
"We haven't decided yet but we have a whole string of countries following the countries we're announcing now," he said.
"We need to make sure we get it absolutely right in those countries and then after that we can consider Australia, but it hasn't been decided yet."
Mr van der Sande said the initial production run of 1955 (the quantity, not the date) Premiere Edition models that will re-launch the Alpine brand had been "virtually sold out" before its European on-sale date late this year.
It was confirmed the A110 will be powered by a new 1.8-litre turbocharged engine designed by the Renault-Nissan alliance that has been modified for the Alpine's mid-engined layout and performance objectives.
With a specific air intake, turbocharger, exhaust system and engine tune, it produces 185kW of power at 6000rpm and 320Nm of torque at an unspecified rev level.
With the A110 weighing just 1080kg largely thanks to its all aluminium construction, that power is enough to produce acceleration of 0-100km/h in a claimed 4.5 seconds on its way to a 250km/h top speed.
The gearbox is a seven-speed dual-clutch unit developed by Getrag, and the car features three driving modes (normal, sport and track) that change the gearbox, steering and exhaust note settings, as well as lessening the effect of the stability control system for a given application.
Overall vehicle mass has been kept low to maximize the power-to-weight ratio and a fore-aft weight balance of 44/56 front/rear achieved by measures such as mounting the 45-litre fuel tank behind the front axle.
The low weight has also been achieved by the fact there's not much of the A110. At 4178mm long, 1798mm wide and 1252mm high, it is only a little bit bigger than a Mazda MX-5.
A flat underfloor and operational rear diffuser are said to create "significant" aerodynamic downforce, or enough to negate the need for a rear spoiler even if the A110's top speed is utilised.
The Premiere Edition will come in three colours: Alpine Blue, black or white with quilted leather one-piece sport seats, carbon fibre interior accents, Brembo brakes and 18-inch wheels.
It won't be until 2018 when production of all Premiere Edition models is completed that a regular line-up of differing trim levels will be offered and those will most likely be the cars Australia gets, if at all.
"We are going to Japan because there's a huge group of passionate Alpine people there and we know there are pockets in Australia as well, of people who love Alpines," Mr van der Sande said.
"Hopefully we can do it in time but we haven't decided yet."
MORE: Geneva Motor Show