Renault’s sports-car brand, Alpine, has been forced to stop Australian sales of its only current model, the A110 coupe, due to the introduction of a new local safety regulation.
Coming into effect from November 2021 for models that received Australian Design Rules (ADR) approval prior to November 2017, ADR 85 establishes a new side-impact crash regulation, which the A110 does not pass.
Infamously, the Porsche Cayman and Audi TT rival launched locally in October 2018 without side airbags as a weight-saving measure, which likely played a key role in its demise due to the theoretical lack of protection in a side-impact crash, in particular with a pole or a tree.
Read more about the Alpine A110
That said, the A110 isn’t the only model to come to an untimely end due to ADR 85, with Nissan’s GT-R coupe and Lexus’ CT small hatchback, IS mid-size sedan and RC coupe, among others, also affected.
A Renault Australia spokesperson said: “ADR 85 reflects a regulation that is not being adopted globally at this point in time. This adds further complexity to production for a country that represents approximately one per cent of the global market and already has unique design regulations required for the market.
“In short, it adds expense to cars that must be engineered specifically for the Australian market and rules out a number of models that should be here.
“Alpine will be dropped from the line-up as a direct result of the regulation.”
Alpine is likely to return to Australia in the future, though, with it set to become Renault’s new all-electric performance sub-brand, replacing Renault Sport in the process. Three new models are due globally from 2024, including a hatchback, an SUV and a sports car.
For reference, 83 examples of the A110 were sold locally over its four-year run, with its range most recently priced from $101,000 to $115,000 plus on-road costs.