First, to the Celebration – the car that will help revive the Alpine name that is so synonymous with high performance models.
Editor-at-large Jason Barlow’s catch-up with designer Antony Villain, additional input from Alpine CEO Bernard Ollivier – “This programme will benefit Alpine’s image across the globe” – and a telling of the Alpine’s history make for a concise yet excellent and informative read.
“Happily the Celebration is one of those cars that looks and feels instantly fresh in the flesh, and channels the spirit of the Sixties A110 without being obviously retro,” writes Barlow.
“It delivers a warm blast of Nostalgia,” he adds elsewhere and also states: “It’s small, the engine’s in the right place and you immediately want to take it for an improvisational razz along the sort of leafy roads that would give you the collywobbles behind the wheel of a LaFerrari or P1.”
Motoring Editor Ollie Marriage meanwhile was ready with his hankie when given one last blast in the Renaultsport Mégane 275 Trophy-R, with a 1000-mile round road trip to Austria’s Red Bull Ring circuit.
“The most hardcore hot hatch” is how his review rates the car, while he also expressed pleasant surprise given the distance covered in a car built for speed. “The Mégane was far more comfortable than it had any right to be…” he said.
Much of that ‘speed’ is, as well documented, attributed to the Trophy-R’s sensational chassis and handling.
“It was the first time the Mégane had properly got under our skin. The drive out may have been more pleasant than expected, but this car thrives on a circuit.”