Tie-ins between car firms and bike companies are far from unusual but the latest crossover creation links two names that are both famed for their giant-slaying motorsports achievements of the past – MV Agusta and Alpine.
Alpine is a brand that’s been largely dormant for years, but has a history of creating Renault-based racing cars dating back to the 1950s. Owned by Renault since 1973, cars bearing the name disappeared in the mid-90s but returned in 2017 with the launch of the low-volume Alpine A110 sports car. Next year the company is set for a huge hike in profile, though, as the Alpine name will replace that of Renault on the company’s resurgent F1 team.
So MV Agusta’s timing in launching the new Superveloce Alpine could be perfect, giving the Italian brand a link with a brand that will be far better known in a few months’ time.
The fruit of the association between the brands is this, the Superveloce Alpine. As its name suggests, it’s a special version of MV Agusta’s existing Superveloce, based on the F3 800.
Spec-wise, the bike is largely unaltered, so you still get MV’s soulful 798cc three-cylinder engine punching out a more than adequate 147hp, rising to 153hp when you fit the, ahem, ‘track-only’ race kit – incorporating an Arrow exhaust and remapped ECU – that comes with the bike. The same kit also slashes weight from 173kg (dry) to 165kg.
The rest of the Superveloce Alpine’s spec is much the same as the standard Superveloce Ottocento, with Marzocchi forks, a Sachs rear shock, Brembo brakes, an up/down quick-shifter as standard, and a 5in TFT dash with cruise control, Bluetooth and GPS. One change, which might go unnoticed, is that the Bosch cornering ABS of previous models is replaced with a system made by Continental.
So, why buy the Superveloce Alpine over the base model? The answer really lies in its limited-edition status – just 110 will be made as a nod the Alpine A110 car – and its appearance.
The blue paint is an Alpine signature, matching the stock colour of the A110, and is joined by MV’s silver highlights for an impressive overall effect. The Alpine ‘A’ logo replaces the usual Superveloce stickers on the side fairings. Each bike’s headstock is numbered from 001 to 110 and the air duct covers, mudguards, chain guard and lower fairings are all carbon fibre. An Alcantara seat with blue stitching, a CNC-machined filler cap with an Alpine-embossed leather strap, and a pillion seat cowl complete the changes. You also get a matching cover and a certificate of authenticity.
MV Agusta’s CEO, Timur Sardarov, said: “Many Alpine customers are also big MV Agusta fans, and vice-versa. The Superveloce Alpine will ideally bring the two worlds together, with incredible synergies in terms of design, personality and style. We look forward to this collaboration with one of the most admired brands in the history of motorsport, and are confident that this new, superb limited edition will be met with enthusiasm by bikers and motorsport fans around the world.”
Patrick Marinoff, Managing Director of Alpine, added: “MV Agusta is a symbol of Italian craftsmanship and excellence that makes motorcycles like no other. Our two brands are driven by the same passion for creating beautifully engineered products and unique emotions for our customers. The Superveloce Alpine is a fine piece of design and technology that makes no compromise on performance and riding pleasure.”
One tradition of MV Agusta limited editions that the Superveloce Alpine continues is an eye-wateringly high price tag.
Where the base version of the Superveloce starts at €20,000 in Italy, and previous limited models were more expensive – the Superveloce 75 cost €25,000 and the initial Serie Oro version was €27,990 – the Superveloce Alpine blows them all away with a whopping €36,300 tag. That’s equivalent to £33,120 at current exchange rates.