Alpine's A110 is a lightweight speed machine with iconic heritage

French marque gets all nostalgic, makes a beautiful car

The Alpine A110? C'est les 60s! Let me find my Sgt. Pepper's vinyl...

Hold your horses, you retro rodeo rider. This is indeed the Alpine A110 - but not quite the one you're thinking of. See, French car marker Alpine has gone full revival - and there's no better way to celebrate the return of a classic brand than by borrowing the name of its most famous machine, the race-bred A110.

So it's a modern day knock-off of a 50-year-old rally classic?

Let's put the handbrake on for just a second, before you offend the slew of Frenchmen who've been toiling over the new A110. This update to the classic very much channels the core of what made the original A110 such a beast. It's got a better power-to-weight ratio than a Porsche Cayman, for example, delivering a hefty 252bhp from its turbocharged four-cylinder block - despite weighing a mere 1100kg. Oh, and it looks ruddy good, too.

It's like an Audi TT and a Nissan 370Z had a very blue lovechild.

That's a surprisingly astute observation - and one that should have car fans jittering with excitement. Of course, the new A110 has to earn its heritage with more than mere looks - this is a production car, not a concept - which is why that bold shell is draped over a unique aluminium chassis. No, not carbon fibre: that didn't offer a sufficient standard of finish for the exacting Alpine engineers.

It doesn't look hugely spacious, though...

It's a sports car, not a people carrier - but, yes, at just shy of 4.2m long it's quite compact, as fast four-wheelers go. You can still fit two normal-sized, 190cm-tall adults in the A110, but they'll have to leave their gloves at home: the glovebox got the chop in favour of a front-end fuel tank.

In fact, all around the car you'll find weight savings. The handbrake, for example, is a completely bespoke electronic number that uses the main brakes to hold you on a hill, while the windscreen wipers deliver water directly to make things more efficient - which means the fluid bottle can be smaller. As the French might say, "Bon."

Can it go round corners better than three lads in a shopping trolley, though?

You bet it can, all thanks to double wishbone suspension, electronic power-assisted steering and a rear diffuser that sucks it to the Tarmac. Basically, it's a beautiful blend of power and style, and we want one.

Anyone care to lend us €58,500 (up to RM275,000)? No? Well, at least we've time to save up before production begins in early 2018.