You don't have to make the 2,000-mile round-trip from Alpine's Dieppe home to the Alps after which it is named and back to understand that. But it's a handy way of learning what the brand stands for, especially in the context of a new French law reducing the speed limit on rural roads to just 50 mph.
Driving your Porsche over some Alpine passes on a European road trip might seem wonderful, but go much beyond second gear and you could be facing a hefty fine or have your license confiscated on the spot. Alpine's emphasis on minimalist thrills through modest power and lack of weight look prescient. Or maybe Renault has lobbied for lower limits to level the playing field.