Rare in the U.S.: 1992 Renault Alpine GTA V6 Turbo

Talk about forbidden fruit: this 1992 Renault Alpine GTA Turbo is a rear-engined sports car that sadly never came stateside while in production. Thankfully, the 25 year rule means it’s now eligible for importation and it’s eons cooler than a Skyline or G-Wagen that has become practically pedestrian at this point. The GTA features a turbocharged V6 that kicks out a healthy 197 b.h.p. with a ridiculously low drag coefficient. Find it here on craigslist in Dallas for $25,000.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Paul C. for the find. The GTA is a limited production model, built in small quantities and certainly a remarkable achievement for a manufacturer like Renault. While the company certainly had some level of pedigree with its motorsports successes, the GTA was a hugely complicated vehicle to manufacture at anything approaching a large scale. Despite this, the end result didn’t change the fact that it was a fantastic driver’s car with styling that makes you forget it’s a Renault.

I always forget that the company did develop a model for the U.S., with all the boxes checked as it relates to emissions and safety requirements that our fair country heaps on exciting cars like this. Despite being practically fully baked, Renault pulled out of the U.S. market shortly before its intended release. Can you image your local AMC dealer working on one of these? The interior of the seller’s car is in impressive condition, as is the paintwork.

It also remains nearly stock, with the exception of a turbo timer, CD player, and apparently replacement front seat upholstery. These cars tended to be modified when new, and given most importers choose the cheapest example they can find, it’s encouraging to see the seller has tracked down an example that’s both nearly stock and in excellent shape. It’s said to run well and fast, two qualities that made it a special car when new. Find another one!

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    I see elements of design in other cars. You would think this like the 911 would have trail throttle oversteer tendencies. PRV6 like was used in the Delorean only with a turbo. I think some of the Alpines were naturally aspirated with a goofy 3 barrel carb.

  2. That Guy

    I remember reading an article in period about the US model. I don’t recall if it was published before the AMC-Chrysler merger, or afterward as a what-might-have-been. It seemed like a very impressive car at the time.

    Still a no-go for us Californians though, as emissions regulations override the 25-year rule. Bummer.

  3. 370zpp

    Never seen one of these before. Impressive.
    Clearly, no one will mistake this for an Alliance or a Le car.

    Like 2
  4. angliagt angliagt Member

    Duncan Imports has one of these, & it’s a really cool car.

    duncanimports.com

  5. Connecticut Mark

    Nice looker, rims look like 240sx

  6. Bob_in_TN Member

    Never heard of this model. Pretty cool.

  7. Jcs

    Random observation…

    In the side view I see an 84 Chrysler Laser’s ass.

    Like 1
  8. Joe

    I saw several new ones on a big car hauler parked behind the AMC dealership in downtown Orlando. Drove back by a day or two later and they were off the truck sitting in a vacant lot almost across the street from that dealership. Went back a couple of days later and they had disappeared. That was about the time I heard AMC would no longer be selling Renaults. I was trying to figure out how I could scrape the money together……..

    Like 1
  9. Nick

    Joe & That Guy
    No USDM of any kind ever existed or was sold here, or in Canada, or seen on a transporter, etc. Renault was long gone from here in 1992. Euro market only, that’s why they’re rare and unseen here

    Like 1
    • Joe

      Nick: I saw that load of cars twice, and they never appeared in the showroom or on the dealership lot. I had a Pantera at the time and was VERY interested in the Alpine.

      Like 1
  10. Sebastien

    I remember sitting in one of those when I was a kid at a Renault dealer back in France, drooling all over the dashboard, begging my dad to buy one lol

  11. vlrd56

    I used to drive in the nineties a Renault 25 V6 turbo with the sama engine .Very powerful but expensive in maintenance with a lot of small breaks to finish at 50 000 miles by the gear box.

  12. Joe

    Nick: what is USDM?

    • Derek

      U.S. domestic market, at a guess.

      A pal of mine had one of these for a while; it was rather entertaining!

  13. Joe

    I suppose it’s possible that I may have ween the previous body style V6 Turbo, but tor sure, it was right when Renault exited the U.S. market.

    Like 1
    • Nick

      Both generations, if you can really call them that, looked essentially the same. None of either were sold new here in the US ever. Who knows what you saw but it seems highly unlikely that it was a truck full of cars that didn’t, and couldn’t, legally sell here.
      Maybe it was a truckload of Toyota MR2’s.

      • Joe

        Nick: You are not paying attention. Some qualifiers: I was approx. 46 yrs. old when I saw those 4 or 5 new Alpines. That means I was clearheaded, with exceptionally good eyesight. My memory is still now at 90% or better, and I very well recognized what they were. More: I have been a rabid, daily, devoted fan and participant in some areas of GP/F1, sports car racing and car and memorabilia collecting since 1959. I have owned MG Magnette/Tiger/R10/Simca 1000/R5 Turbo II/TR8/Alfa GTV2000/2 Panteras/Yenko Stinger+ clone/performance Mercedes’ and THE Car & Driver dual-engined CRX (4WD- 147 mph). Seen many of the greats win many major races, done many track days, seen Schumacher testing on Fiorano, shook Tom Tjaarda’s hand in his Turin design studio(Pantera designer), toured Ferrari/Lambo/Maserati/Alfa/Pagani….Stanguelini museum, Bertone/Pininfarina/ItalDesign and more. Do I sound like a guy who would mix up an Alpine for an MR2?
        Again: I walked around those Alpine turbos on that vacant lot and looked in them. 2 days later they disappeared. I remember reading that same week that Renaults would no longer be sold by AMC. I believe they were the slightly different body style that preceded the blue car for sale here. Maybe they were shipped in right before the ending of the AMC/Renault partnership.

        Like 1
  14. Claudio

    My older brother worked at a renault stealership in the late sixties, early seventies and he has NEVER been normal since , just sayin…

    Like 1
    • alphasud Member

      😂 same thing happened to me as a Saab/ Alfa Romeo tech. I’m okay with it now just have to accept I’m a little odd cussing at other car makers for putting their engines in the wrong way or not leaking enough oil to keep the undercarriage protected!

  15. chrlsful

    by the 80s & 90s I no longer liked this co’s ‘style’ (cuz Renault started makin em?). Alpines were beautiful in early daze (A106 my fav but A110 in 2 varieties cool too) w/a 1800cc motor drivin a 1300 lb car… Not mentioned is the above, this blue GTA is mid engined (in frnt of rear axel). I’d call it a Lotus eater 8^ )

  16. Mitchell Ross

    Would have made a great AMX

  17. J Lundin

    Guess this Alpine is imported from Japan to US. Probably manufactured in 1989.

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