Man’s World

Alpine A110, a sporty French coupé

Renault Alpine A110

The 1970s were exciting years for the car industry. Some of the most beautiful cars ever made saw the light in that period. The Alpine A110 was a fine example, and so Renault are more than justified in its decision to relaunch it. The Alpine story began in 1955 and came to an end in 1995, before this new version that saw the light in 2017. The A110 was a protagonist in racing and above all on the rally circuit, where it won the World Championship in 1973 with the original A110. The new version represents a return to the approach of that car, with similarities in much of the engineering, though of course, weight and power are greater. Manufacturers have to be careful when working on nostalgic themes: success is easy to obtain, but failure is also an ever-present possibility. Luckily, this is not the case of the Alpine 110, which made its debut one and a half years ago. It is doing well on the market, and winning the hearts of all car enthusiasts.

A car that inspires passion

The A110 is one of those cars that induce happiness, whether you are driving it or if you simply see it on the road. It is a supercar, but it doesn’t cost hundreds of thousands of euros. Of course, with just two seats and the mid-mounted engine, it is not exactly brimming with space, but it is comfortable nonetheless. The suspension provides a very smooth ride, making it a great car for everyday use. But the great thing about the Alpine is that it generates endorphins even before you open the door and get in. As soon as you drop down into the seat, the racing-type set-up will immediately make you feel a gentleman driver. The seats are straight from the world of competition, but surfaces are beautifully finished, in leather and Alcantara. All considered, the Alpina is a small supercar that costs 60,000 euro, and its performance can be controlled by drivers of all levels of experience. It weighs just 1,100 kg with its aluminium chassis. It has front and rear double wishbone suspension, and weight distribution is shifted rearwards (44:56) which is as it should be for a car with a mid-mounted transverse engine.

Renault Alpine A110

Power perfectly controlled

The Alpine is fairly compact, with a length of 4.18 metres, a width of 1.80 m and a height of 1.25 m. Its drag coefficient CX is 0.32, with a flat ground-effect underbody. The 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine produces 252 HP at 6,000 rpm, and 320Nm of torque, taking it from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds, and on to 250 km/h, with electronically-limited top speed. The brakes system is entirely in aluminium, by Brembo. The alloy wheels are Fuchs, and the seats – which weight just 13.1 kg – are made by Sabelt. If you have never driven a car with a mid-mounted engine, you may be surprised by the sensitivity and feel of the drive. The Alpine behaves exactly how the driver wants it to, though you have to get used to the fairly soft suspension which makes it perfect for everyday road use, but can make it a little trickier for extreme sports driving. It is delightful at fairly high speeds, when the torque and the speed of the gearbox make it very agile from one corner to the next. It would be perfect if it had sharper suspension and raunchier engine tuning. These are of course the perfect ingredients for what will probably be a future RS version.

Alessandro Vai

Renault Alpine A110

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