It's winter sports season in many parts of the world, and auto manufacturers are using that as an excuse to make some pretty fun specialty versions of their vehicles. Only hours apart, Bentley unveiled an adventure-ready Continental GT, while Alpine dropped a surprise design study called the A110 SportsX. Similar to the Buick Regal TourX, the X indicates the lifted vehicle's rugged personality.
Alpine has managed to squeeze a lot of fun variants out of the A110 since debuting the sleek sports car. After the Alpine Vision concept turned into the production A110, which debuted at Geneva in early 2017, Alpine announced an A110 Cup race car in late 2017. In 2018, Alpine announced another race car, the A110 GT4, and in 2019, an improved A110S with sharper suspension and 288 horsepower debuted. The coolest A110, however, is the A110 Rally, which debuted in late 2019. The just-announced A110 SportsX takes inspiration from the Rally but drops the oversized wing for some skis.
Alpine's exhibit at the International Automobile Festival at Les Invalides in Paris, France, is called "Between Retrospective and Prospective." The stand features "present and fantasized models, whose storyline is a back and forth between two eras and the richness of Alpine’s history as an inexhaustible source of inspiration." In attendance were the A210 prototype, the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo, the Alpine A110 1800 Gp4 driven by François Alessandri and Jean Pierre Manzagol in 1972, an A110 "berlinette" 1300 from 1971, the A110S, and the the A110 SportsX.
Alpine says the SportsX, which is based on an A110 Pure, is inspired by the winning A110 rally car from the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally. The design concept is 3.1 inches wider and has 2.4 inches of extra ground clearance. Visually, it has a two-tone look, thanks to a dark hood and roof, and a ski rack has been mounted over the rear window. Black accents are found along the body, and the front fascia features a more aggressive aero piece. It also has dark wheels, X marks on the fog lights, and little French flag accents throughout.
As a design exercise, the SportsX will not make production as it stands. This might be one of the only chances to see this car in a public place, so anybody in Paris should check it out if they can.