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The first model of the A310, built 1971-1976, was a car with a four-cylinder engine and six headlights. The car was first shown at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. The prototype A310 had louvres across the rear windscreen; these were not carried over to the production model. Early models had a NACA duct mounted near the window atop the left front fender, later four-cylinder cars received two, mounted closer to the front of the car. The A310 was labor-intensive, having been developed for small-scale artisanal production – a car took 130 hours to build from start to finish. The front axle also came in for some criticism, although in 1974 the balljoint mountings were replaced by rubber/steel bushings (silent-blocs) which somewhat improved the longevity. While many bits of the A310 came from the Renault parts shelf as expected, others are more surprising – the steering rack is from the Peugeot 504, while the turn signals are Simca 1301 units.
The basis of the A310 was a hefty tubular steel backbone chassis, clothed in a fiberglass shell. As for the previous A110 the entire body was molded in a single piece. Like the ill-fated De Lorean DMC-12, which used the same PRV powertrain, the engine was mounted longitudinally in the rear, driving forward to the wheels through a manual five-speed gearbox. The driving position was low and sporty, although the front wheel wells encroached on the occupants’ feet, pointing them towards the centre of the car.
Source: Wikipedia (original)
- Engine: 1.6L Inline 4
- Weight: 830 kg / 1,830 lbs
- Power: 103 kW / 138 hp / 140 PS
- 0-100 kph: 8.0 seconds
- Torque: 160 Nm / 118 lb-ft
- Top Speed: 215 kph / 134 mph