The Alpine brand has a long history, starting with the Alpine A110, a compact rear-engined sports car that was introduced in the 1960s.
Its lightweight and quick handling made it ideal for rallying, and it continued to win victories far into the 1970s, winning the first World Rally Championship (WRC).
The new A110 is a significant vehicle for Renault’s parent firm, and the two companies’ ties were strengthened when Renault acquired Alpine.
Alpine survived under Renault’s leadership until the mid-1990s when the name was dropped… until the A110 of the twenty-first century arrived.
The lightweight, driver-focused attitude of the classic A110 is embodied in many ways. It’s constructed alongside sporty variants of the Clio and Megane at Renault’s facility in Dieppe, France.
The A110 competes with everything from the Porsche 718 Cayman to the Toyota Supra and Audi TT, yet none of them can match the A110’s enchantment and feeling of occasion.
The engine now resides in the center of the car, as it does in the Porsche Cayman, which is the most important modification in the new A110.
However, the A110 continues to drive the back wheels, and the A110’s focus is on pure driver enjoyment rather than lap times.
There’s only one body style, one engine (although in two tuning states), and one transmission.
That means that regardless of the model you choose, you’ll get a sleek two-door coupe with a 1.8-liter turbo engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
They’re all rear-wheel drive, and they’re all under 1,200kg. The 248bhp or 288bhp variants are available as options.
The Pure has part-leather/Dinamica bucket seats and 17-inch alloy wheels, while the Legende has larger 18-inch alloys, six-way adjustable leather-trimmed comfort seats, and carbon fiber inside decor.
With an extra 40bhp, a dedicated sports chassis with a stronger anti-roll bar, and new 320mm discs front and rear, the top-of-the-line S model is more performance-oriented. The Alpine A110 is a fantastic sports car that competes with the Porsche 718 Cayman and Audi TT.
When it came to recreating the magic of the 1960s original, the company was under a lot of pressure, but the outcome is a delightful driving experience and magnificent appearance.
It also has a considerably more unique vibe than its main competitors.
The Alpine A110 Interior
The seats are bolstered sports buckets with a fixed backrest angle that are comfortable enough to contemplate a long drive.
They’re also one of the material highlights of the cabin, with leather and Alcantara upholstery with blue stitching.
A raised center console panel with an engine start button, gearbox controls, electric window switches, and an electronic handbrake switch sprouts between them.
It should clearly be more securely fastened, and it wobbles a little too easily to convey the sense of quality that the leather and carbon fiber-style trim it’s completed with is attempting to convey.
A seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a Focal stereo There’s sat-nav, Bluetooth, and DAB, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t even listed as options.
Interior accents like orange stitching and aluminum pedals are available on the S model, but there is only one base paint color – Glacier White – so if you want something other, you’ll have to pay extra.
A seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard on the Alpine. Although the menus on a Porsche 718 Cayman are more logical and the system is easier to work on the move because there are more physical buttons, the display is responsive enough.
The A110’s two-speaker Focal stereo offers surprisingly nice sound for its lack of raw power, and it comes with DAB radio and Bluetooth.
There’s smartphone integration as well, but it’s not Android Auto or Apple CarPlay compatible.
Instead, it uses a system called MySpin, which is compatible with both Apple and Android devices and has several advantages over more recognized interfaces.
Alpine A110 Performance
It’s far lighter than rivals like the Porsche 718 Cayman and Audi TT RS, weighing in at just 1,098kg.
Because it has less weight to move, it can get by with less power, and the 1.8-liter turbo petrol engine pales in comparison to Audi’s 395bhp 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine.
The Alpine’s engine lacks the flair of its German counterpart, but it sounds wonderful and is more enjoyable to rev than the Cayman’s subdued flat-four.
When it comes to handling, the low weight is a significant plus. Engagement is aided by the double-wishbone suspension and powerful Brembo brakes, while the rear-mounted engine provides excellent balance.
There’s even a flat underbody, which improves the car’s speed stability. While some may bemoan the Alpine’s lack of a manual transmission (all Alpines come with a seven-speed DCT), the little sports car feels incredibly sophisticated and quick.
The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine produces 248 horsepower in the Pure and Legende models, or 288 horsepower in the A110S and Color Edition 2020 models.
The torque number stays at 320Nm in both variants, however, it is accessible across a wider rpm range in the S.
Rivals may have more horsepower, but make no mistake: this is still a very fast sports car. Alpine claims the 248bhp A110 would sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds, but our tests revealed a pace of 4.6 seconds.
The S variant, which has 288 horsepower, is a tenth faster, taking 4.4 seconds. Its German counterparts, a Porsche 718 Cayman S and an Audi TT RS, finished the identical dash in 3.9 seconds and 3.5 seconds, respectively, in a recent triple test.