Lemon Juice and Paper Cuts: The 2020 Alpine A110S

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Every automotive journalist has a mental list of new models they’d like to see migrate to their home country. For many residing in North America, the Alpine A110 is at the top of the page. We didn’t get the resurrected A110, which is a faithful throwback to the original model that ended production in 1977, and this has left a subset of our staff feeling a little raw.

Alpine has since unveiled a spicier build of the car, throwing some additional salt on our collective butthurt — though we’ll happily acknowledge that probably wasn’t the automaker’s intent. It seems content building a two-seat sports car France can be proud of.

Whereas the current A110 uses a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 247 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, the new A110S steps things up to 288 hp. While the manufacturer leaves foot-pounds untouched, it did say that peak tug will be available higher in the car’s rev range at 2,000-6,400 rpm. At face value, the improvement doesn’t sound as though it would result in much of an increase in overall performance. But the mid-engined Alpine only weighs in at 2,456 pounds — slightly more than the substantially less powerful Mazda MX-5, which is still loads of fun.

The model will remain rear-wheel drive and persist with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission used by the standard A110. However, it will receive a retuned suspension with new dampers, 50-percent stiffer coils and 100-percent stiffer anti-roll bars (which are hollow to save weight). It’s also been lowered 0.2-inches vs its standard sibling.

Tires and wheels are also new, with the Renault subsidiary offering darkened 18-inch GT rounds wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber. Also fitted as standard is the 320mm bi-material discs and Brembo brake calipers and that are optionally available on other versions of the A110.

Beyond that, Alpine said it took some lessons from the A110 GT4 race car to tweak stability control — especially for track mode. But the manufacturer will still allow customers to deactivate ESC entirely.

After throwing all of these improvements onto a pile, the company claimed the A110S will blast to 62 mph from a standstill in 4.4 seconds and provide much-improved handling characteristics over the standard variant without ruining the car’s ability to serve as a daily driver.

Prices start at €66,500, or about $74,500 in the market we would have most liked to see it in.

[Images: Société des Automobiles Alpine SAS]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Jun 17, 2019

    I'm not sure how this thread ended up going sideways but I agree with krhodes this car is pure sex, especially in French blue. I, too , could get over my manual transmission requirement for a sporting vehicle . In regards to the EV performance vehicle,not for me. Only boring cars for boring commutes.

  • NeilM NeilM on Jun 17, 2019

    I'm old enough to remember and have lusted over the original A110, back when I lived in France in my late teens. It was a killer rally car back then. Now I lust over this one. To the comment of the nose looking like a Toyota something, no, it's styled after the nose of the original, see: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/Renault_Alpine_A_110_%28Sp%29.JPG

  • Akear I just wish GM could produce a vehicle 80% as good as the crown.I sat in a Trax at a Chevrolet dealership this weekend and was shocked how cheap it felt. GM does not care.GM - what a disgrace!
  • Akear I like the grill treatment of all Mitsubishi products. It is an interesting and original design.
  • El scotto Some rambling thoughts; Elon is pulling billions in cash out of Tesla. Tesla will be around, Elon won't let them fail. Mitsubishi is an odd place, you can't sell vehicles if you don't have dealers. Out of all the "Automalls" near you, how many have a Mitsubishi dealership? The Agnellis owned Fiat, Fiat got sold to Stellantis. The Agnellis control Exor. How much of Stellantis does Exor own? I really should be drinking beer with Billy Ford and talking Big-10 trash with him. Ford and Lucid should work out a partnership. You want an electric Lincoln? Have Lucid build it and slap a Lincoln name plate on it. BTW, kick Farley's butt to the curb.
  • Akear US contentChevrolet Trax - 5%Honda Pilot - 52%What a disgrace!I glad Consumer Reports panned the Trax, and put it on its avoid list.
  • Akear This is similar to what lazy GM and Ford used to do.
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