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Renault A610

Published: 20th Jul 2012 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Renault A610

Fast Facts

  • Engine: 2975cc/6-cyl
  • Power (bhp/rpm): 250/5750
  • Torque (lb ft@rpm): 258/2900
  • Top speed: 165mph
  • 0-60mph: 5.7sec
  • Fuel consumption: 26mpg
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual
  • Length: 14ft 6in (4.42m)
  • Width (inc mirrors): 5ft 9in (1.76m)
  • Weight: 3130lb (1422kg)
  • Books: Alpine Renault 1958-1995 Ultimate Portfolio: ISBN 9781855207424
  • Clubs: Club Alpine Renault,
    Renault Alpine Owners’ Club,
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You’re after a car with supercar performance, that’s a genuine classic and you can fi t the family into – albeit at a squeeze. Your budget is £10,000 and you don’t want something that’s temperamental or costs a for tune to run. Seems like an impossible brief, doesn’t it? But there is a solution, although it’s far from obvious – the Renault A610. Known as the Alpine A610 in Europe, Peugeot Talbot’s ownership of the Alpine brand in the UK meant a different nameplate was required here. As a result, despite rave reviews, buyers stayed away, preferring to buy a Porsche 944 instead of a car wearing Renault badges. That was their loss, but it also makes your life that much harder now; you’ll have to search long and hard to find one of these gallic beauties.

What to look for

The A610 has a complex structure, with around 40 panels bonded to each other before being bonded to the chassis. Check around the rear suspension towers, which are prone to rot as the chassis wasn’t galvanised. Also check where the bodyshell is bonded to the chassis and make sure the sills and mounting points are all sound, as these tend to corrode.

The Douvrin V6 is an unstressed unit, and the use of synthetic oil from new should have minimised any wear; the Garrett AiResearch T3 turbocharger is also renowned for its reliability. The worst likely problem is blown head gaskets, usually as a result of overheating. Warped cylinder heads as a result of this are a possibility, although this is unusual. If you think the car you’re looking at is suffering from this it’s worth getting a compression check done.

Gearboxes are long-lived and so too are clutches, but anti-roll bar bushes wear and so too do the 12 wishbone bushes. Wear is evident by driving the car at high speed, when the car will weave about – otherwise jack the car up and use a long bar to check for play in the suspension.

The other likely mechanical malady is with seized brakes, which can stick on or off. Fresh brake fl uid every three years is also essential, if the anti-lock technology isn’t to fail because of water in the system.

The air-con system isn’t very reliable, as the compressor is too close to the exhaust. If it’s not running it’ll need to be recharged, the dryer will probably need to be replaced and potentially the compressor will need replacing – which is when things get costly.


Of the 65 right-hand drive A610s that made it here, perhaps three dozen survive and they’re not all in good condition. As a result, prices are hard to pinpoint, but the best cars go for up to £15,000 or so, while something average but perfectly usable is closer to £11,000- £12,000. A610s can change hands for just £7000-8000, but at this level they’re going to need work, and with some parts now ver y hard to fi nd and chassis repairs potentially involved and costly, such cars are likely to be money pits.

Driving one

With a top speed of 165mph and a 0-62mph time of just 5.5 seconds, the A610 is supercar quick, but it’s always tractable. The turbocharged 2975cc V6 provides ample torque for smooth acceleration from low engine speeds, but when you want that extra urge the Garrett turbo cuts in and gives you the shove to make seriously rapid progress. Powerassisted steering is standard along with anti-lock brakes and while it would be easy to be afraid of driving the A610 at high speed because of its rear-engined confi guration, there’s so much grip available from the rear tyres that you’ve got to be seriously pressing on before problems crop up. It’s Renault’s 911 really – but rarer…



The alliance between Renault and Alpine had begun in 1955, when Jean Redele, founder of the Alpine marque, built his fi rst car using Renault 4CV mechanicals. The A110, launched in 1963, was made with Renault’s co-operation, leading to the adoption of Alpine as Renault’s competition wing in 1971. In the same year the A310 was introduced and in 1974 Renault bought Alpine. The GTA succeeded the A310 in 1984; this in turn was replaced by the A610 in May 1992. A turbocharged 2975cc powerplant offered 165mph but buyers proved elusive. Success at Le Mans in 1994 increased buyers’ interest, but Renault had already decided to stop RHD production, with just 65 examples sold in the UK. By 1995 Alpine was dead.

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