As Alpine managing director Michael van der Sande had hinted in a series of newsletters to the new model’s first customers, the A110 will be lightweight and compact. With its 96% aluminium body and chassis, the new Alpine weighs in at just 1,080 kg (without options). Weight distribution is optimum (56% rear, with the centrally-mounted engine, and 44% front, with the fuel tank located behind the front axle), for a perfect driver-vehicle interface and outstanding agility, most pronounced round the winding mountain roads where Alpine first forged its singular reputation in the sixties and seventies.
The A110 is powered by a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, direct-injection turbocharged engine developed by the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Engineers from Alpine and Renault Sport teamed up to put together a very special Alpine model with made-to-measure systems for functions such as air admission, turbocharging, exhaust and mapping. The new car delivers power of 185 kW (252 bhp) and peak torque of 320 Nm. Given the low vehicle weight, the weight/power ratio of 4.3 kg per bhp ensures exceptional performance, starting with acceleration of just 4.5 seconds from standstill to 100 km/h.
Like its illustrious predecessor, the A110 is not only for experienced racing drivers. The intensely pleasurable road driving experience is open to all. That explains its three different driving modes — Normal, Sport and Track — which adjust gearbox and engine response to driver preferences. Motorists thus enjoy a range of driving experiences, with assistance configurable from maximum down to zero. In other words, A110 is equally at home on everyday road journeys as on the racetrack.
Make no mistake: Alpine stands in a category to itself on the sportscar scene. It has a flat floor throughout and a functional diffuser, technical design choices derived from competition motoring practice, but the overriding design consideration was to keep the smooth, sleek lines that typify Alpine. That explains why this is the only car in its category capable of reaching 250 km/h without a fin or spoiler.
The A110 interior is uncluttered and cosy, with a superbly comfortable driving position. Quality materials are used throughout — full bloom natural leather, carbon fibre and structural parts in aluminium — to produce a really gratifying on-board experience.
The carbon fibre dashboard hood and air-vent surrounds are directly derived from the world of motor sport. The carbon’ finer than usual and the mat grey colour enhances the sense of elegance.
The A110 Première Edition is provisionally priced at €58,500 (including VAT) in France.
Watch again the Alpine press conference from Geneva International Motor Show: