For today’s review we are onboard the Alpine A110S, the most powerful A110. For this test drive we thank the Nuova Comauto dealership in Florence, which has recently also become Alpine Center Florence.
Alpine was founded in 1955 by Jean Rédélé and immediately began the production of a car based on Renault 4CV, the A106. In the following years he will also produce the A108, but certainly the most important is the A110 of 1961. The Alpine A110 takes up part of the style of the A108, but introducing a much sportier design; the technical basis also changed, this time derived from the Renault 8. In 1965 Renault acquired a part of Alpine and in the same years the Alpine A110 began to be successful, winning competitions and becoming a car increasingly appreciated by aspiring drivers. In 1973 Alpine launched the A310 and, thanks to the oil crisis, the decline of the brand began. Subsequently, thanks also to the merger with Renault, other cars are produced until 1995 when production was definitively ceased.
In 2012 Renault announced the rebirth of the Alpine brand, and in 2017 the new A110 was officially presented, a reinterpretation of the 1961 A110.
The exterior design of Alpine A110 is spectacular and strongly inspired by its heritage from which it takes many details and details, such as the circular headlights and the particular shape of the tail. The test sample is then painted in “Alpine Blue”, a color that is extremely reminiscent of the history of the brand.
The Alpine A110, in all its versions, is a sports car, and as such has a configuration worthy of its pedigree. In fact, we find a central rear engine and the traction is rear. The engine, supplied by Renault, is the now famous 1.8 TCe but reworked by Alpine; the power is 250 horsepower for the standard version and thanks to a higher boost pressure it manages to release a good 300 horsepower for the S and GT versions. The Alpine engineers have done an excellent job on this engine, thanks to a torque of 320nm between 2000 and 6400 rpm it offers a very interesting extension. The S version also features a sports exhaust system as standard
This unit was coupled to a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. An excellent gearbox that in normal mode offers smooth and imperceptible gear changes, while in sport and track it also manages to simulate a nice kick on the back.
The weight of the Alpine A110 is very low: in running order it reaches about 1100kg. Thanks to many measures such as the use of aluminum, lightened rims and Sabelt sports seats. The latter are beautiful to look at, well containing and also comfortable for long journeys. The carbon fiber roof is also available as an option, which saves an additional 1.9kg.
An excellent engine was also combined with an equally excellent chassis and set-up. In fact, on the A110S, compared to the standard counterpart, we find recalibrated springs and anti-roll bars, coil springs stiffer by 50%, shock absorbers with dedicated calibration, empty anti-roll bars to reduce the weight to a minimum with the same performance, ground clearance reduced by 4. mm and hydraulic steering stops calibrated for optimal control of the bodywork. The 18-inch wheels, called “GT Race”, house differentiated tires: 215/40 at the front and 245/40 at the rear. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4 are fitted as original equipment to ensure excellent grip on the road and on the track. Speaking of the track, the 320mm “bi-material” Brembo brakes ensure punctual and precise braking.
In summary, we are faced with a first-class technical data sheet, and this is felt especially when driving. Alpine A110S is extremely effective in tight mixed conditions thanks to a masterful set-up and direct and precise steering at the right point. With the right tires, this car is literally glued to the ground. The braking system is fully at the height of performance, fairly powerful and tireless, with the pedal stroke of a true sports car. The featherweight helps in acceleration and braking so much so that the 300 horsepower under the right foot seems a lot more. In summary, it is light, precise, agile and lively: in a word, extraordinary.
Defects? Difficult to find them. If you really have to nitpick some controls such as light switch or air conditioning are taken from Renault models that are certainly less valuable. Finally, the space on board is not very limited, but considering the type of car it is very difficult to do better.
Thanks to its low weight and a very efficient engine, it is reasonable to expect very interesting fuel consumption for this sports car. Without pulling her neck too much, it is possible to travel about 14km with a liter of fuel, otherwise consumption rises up to an average of 5 km/l.
Alpine A110, in the standard version, starts at 60,800 euros; the S version costs about 13,000 euros more, up to about 82,000 for the specimen that Alpine Center Firenze Nuova Comauto gave us for the test drive. A price that is undoubtedly fair for one of the few cars in this segment, still able to thrill with a formula that has always been winning: low weight and excellent chassis and weight distribution. In a world where on the one hand sports cars are getting heavier and on the other there is a move towards the transition to electric, the Alpine A110 is still one of the few cars to entertain and excite enthusiasts.