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The latest version of the Alpine A110 range is light, more streamlined, and more inspired by motor sport and is the crowning jewel of the Alpine range. Many may not be aware that the brand is relatively new, created in 1954 and production ceased in 1995. However, under the control of Renault, the brand was re-introduced in 2017 and the first A110 arrived in early 2021.

The ultimate expression of lightness and performance, the new A110 R was designed to be at home on the racetrack, yet still certified for the open road. The first main difference is seen through the extensive work put in to reducing its overall weight down to as little as 1,082kg, some 34kg less than the A110 S. Its aerodynamic performance has been enhanced for greater downforce and reduced drag and for the first time ever on the A110 range, some parts (e.g. the bonnet, rear window, and diffuser) have been redesigned specifically for the new model. The exclusive improvements made to the chassis, along with the 1.8 litre turbo 300bhp engine and race-car interior, feed into the heightened radical feel that make the driving experience more intense than ever before. With launch control engaged, it takes just 3.9 seconds to go from rest to 100kph (62mph), so its fair to say the all new R pushes the boundaries of sports cars.

Building off the brand’s commitment to motorsport, the design phase involved direct input from leading experts. Manufactured in France at the Manufacture Alpine Dieppe Jean Rédélé facility, this new model marks the beginning of a new chapter for the brand in motor sport. There are a number of features inspired by the world of motor racing which have been directly added or adapted to the new model in order to optimise handling at top speed. The new design work, aided by wind tunnel technology, put into the rear swan-neck spoiler, flat undercarriage, and diffuser, in addition to the full-carbon fibre wheels, makes for greater stability around corners and at high speeds. The A110 R boasts greater back-end aerodynamic downforce than the A110 S Aero Kit, with an extra 29kg at top speed, thereby ensuring greater balance when taking fast corners and drag has been reduced by five percent (track attitude) thereby extending the top speed to a record 285kph (155mph). Carbon fibre has been used most notably for the hood and the carbon fibre bonnet which delivers not only a sportier look with more character, but it also weighs 2.9 kg less and provides improved all-round performance, including top speed. The bonnet also has two air intakes for enhanced aerodynamics, making it a key feature of the car’s bold design, giving it a more radical feel. Developed by the Alpine team along with the supplier, Duqueine, the unique, tailor-made wheels are also carbon fibre and designed with a triple purpose in mind: to improve the car’s performance by reducing its weight; to optimize its aerodynamics; and provide better cooling for the brakes. The Brembo high-performance braking system features 320mm diameter composite discs at the front and rear. To perform at the level required by the on-track speed and behaviour, engineers devised an exclusive cooling system. The standard A110 R comes fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 semi-slick tyres (215/40 R18 at the front and 245/40 R18 at the rear).

Like other cars in the range, the Alpine A110 R boasts three customisable driving modes for greater enjoyment: Normal, Sport, and Track. Responsiveness of the accelerator and engine, power-steering sensitivity, gear shifts, and ESC sensitivity all change according to the chosen mode. This is a car which stirs a lot of emotions on the track, but also on the open road, one that stimulates all the senses through its dynamic and lightweight feel, immediate response and enhanced driving pleasure. In the city or on the open road, every movement is governed through immediate control; with this French number driving pleasure is delivered.

Ian Lynas

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