By on June 14, 2019

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]

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20 Comments on “Lemon Juice and Paper Cuts: The 2020 Alpine A110S...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Nice tail, but the nose of a Toyota Paseo.

    For that kind of money, I’d prefer the much-quicker and better-looking Model 3 Performance, leaving me $10k to spend on e-fillups and insurance for years.

  • avatar

    Isn’t 75K of US $$$ too much for Renault? Not sure it will fly here. For that money I can buy Tesla.

    • 0 avatar
      skunkers21

      Actually straight Euro to Dollar conversions don’t really work for determining the price of cars, so the article is a bit off. For example a top trim Subaru BRZ starts at like 40,000 Euros in France, or ~$45,000 US. In the US it’s $28,700, like twenty grand cheaper. They just pay more for cars over there; if this were legit brought to the US it would probably be more in the $40K range.

      • 0 avatar

        “They just pay more for cars over there”

        I know but on the other hand they get free health healthcare and high unemployment.

        • 0 avatar
          AKM

          Yup, as a Frenchman, I’ve never really understood the price difference for cars between US and Europe, especially since it’s not reflected in other products nearly as much. We still get shafted for electronics, but far less once we take into account VAT. VAT is already added on all public prices in most of Europe, as they are national and not local taxes.

          For high unemployment, that is true of France due to the rigidity of the labour market, but not of Europe as a whole. Germany has 3.1% unemployment, 0.7% lower than the US.

          The alpine retails at about the same price as a Cayman in Europe, and is a fairly direct competitor.

          I’d get a model 3 too, but have kids to carry, and doubt an alpine and model3 are cross shopped very often.

          • 0 avatar

            The problem with Germans is that they live to work. They are like working bees, they are too tense. I like more relaxed life, like in California – going to beach, picnics at local wineries, good food and locally made craft beer and working long hours and also weekends too to meet tight deadlines. Lot of fun. Esp when company is growing and you got lot of stock options and ESPP.

        • 0 avatar
          Synchromesh

          California is huge. It all depends where you live. If you want to have a good salary (we’re talking at least 150K here because in Bay Area less is just a joke) you will have to put in your long hours just the same. Nobody will pay you this much money to enjoy yourself.

          As for Tesla – sorry but I’d rather donate that money to Beirut than give Mr Musk and his taxpayer-skimming operations a single dollar. That and Model 3 isn’t really a car per se. It’s a complete appliance with no soul.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            ” I’d rather donate that money to Beirut than give Mr Musk and his taxpayer-skimming operations a single dollar.”

            Yet somehow you seem to have no problem buying cars from foreign companies whose workers pay no US taxes and at the same time take the same subsidies that Tesla is taking.

          • 0 avatar

            I live in Bay area and I enjoy working long hours. It is a lot of fun to work at cutting edge of technology. Regarding compensation for engineers in companies like Apple, Google, Nexflix, Facebook and etc it is about 200K-400K a year.

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    Clarkson and crew on Grand Tour were pretty much “what is the point of you?” about this car. Too compromised by the tug of nostalgia vs. modern necessities (safety reqs, etc.) to be a worthwhile value.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    This is about the only car where I would absolutely break my “no stick/no sale” rule. I would trade my Fiata for one of these in a heartbeat.

    To the couple of people comparing this to a Tesla – are you HIGH? No matter how fast they are in a straight line, Teslas, both Model 3 and Model S, feel like the lead sleds they are. A low CoG only goes so far in hiding 1500-2000 extra lbs of road hugging weight compared to this. Completely different cars for completely different purposes.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      There are impressive videos of the Model 3 Performance on the Nurbergring racing against other vehicles. It’s a very legit car on that road course. The Model S, not so much.

      • 0 avatar
        conundrum

        Yeah, for one whole lap. You cannot get around the small amount of energy the battery contains, and the excessive weight that it imparts with subsequent consequences for the tires which are made from petrochemicals. No way a Model 3 is going to slam dunk an Alpine lap after lap because it cannot do more than one before its flanks are heaving and it needs a big “drink”. It’ll never have the balance of the Alpine or be as fun to drive, and that’s the point surely?

        Lots of people here dote on trucks and giant SUVs, and bristle when preachy types attempt to point out their gas-guzzlin’ habits. But when an overweight EV is touted over a lithe Alpine with a Megane 1.8 turbo and less than 2500 lbs weight, I am having cognitive dissonance trying to work out exactly what you and Inside Looking Out are fundamentally driving at. Saintliness?

        I’m an engineer too, so since Germany where the Nurburgring is located is importing huge volumes of natural gas for electricity generation and uses lots of home-produced coal too, all at at best 40% thermal efficiency in power stations, and wind and solar are a small part of the total electricity generated on the grid, where is this wonderfulness for fundamental fossil-fuel energy savings that EVs exhibit?

        Then there’s the hydrogen mess, where we dopily expend energy to produce H2 from natural gas, rub our hands in glee and assure ourselves we’re good to go. A few people need a course in thermodynamics and energy conversion systems and actually understand what the mathematics are telling us – I’ve been saying it for years. People leap off in one direction like a tribe of lost souls and won’t ever consider basic common sense, in my view. It’s all “I’m right, you’re wrong” and if you don’t agree then you’re a Luddite. Often all based on an in-depth degree in the fine arts and no understanding of the basics except to link to web pages written by people similarly afflicted with no technical capability whatsoever. Color me unswayed by nonsense and being herded down a new and not overly efficient path,

        Horses for courses, and allow others to have some fun without being preached at by wild-eyed proselytizing zealots, for goodness sake.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          @conundrum:

          You’re mistaking me for a tree-hugger. Never once in my posting regarding EVs have I mentioned an environmental agenda, which I do not have.

          And, never once have I supported hydrogen fuel cells for cars. The energy equation does not work, and they are as costly to operate as a 12 mpg car.

          You are factually incorrect about the Model 3 Performance’s endurance on a race track.

          “https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=dD8gvM8M1zE”

    • 0 avatar

      @krhodes1 – man, get over with it, you are getting old. ICE is dead – the future has finally arrived: Tesla. Wait Toyota announcement next year. Regarding Alpine – I remember it from my childhood. It is an old stuff like Pontiac or Oldsmobile or Maserati or Maybach. No matter how hard you try it cannot be resurrected. Tesla on the other hand is the future – bright future.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        … and now Bob Lutz is saying Tesla has fixed their fit and finish issues and is now world class:

        https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/a28008116/tesla-model-3-build-quality-bob-lutz/

        Speaking of weights, let’s look at a Porsche 911. Some of the heavier ones are 3587 to 3739. We’re talking about essentially a 2 seat sports car. What’s an M4 these days? About 4,100 lbs. The Model 3 performance is 4,072. So, a 4 door sedan weighing only 333 lbs than the porkiest version of what is considered a great 2 seat sports car. But let’s look ahead to the near future. Tesla is going to use the Maxwell technology they acquired and switch to 500 Wh/kg batteries. Roughly cutting the weight of their cells in half. So 230.7 kg or 508.75 lbs for 60 kWh of cells. With 500 Wh/kg cells, the weight drops to 120 kg or 264 lbs. That’s a 245 lb difference which should put the Model 3 Performance at only 88 lbs heavier than the heaviest 911. You can take a dent out of that 88 lbs by upgrading to aftermarket carbon ceramics (minus 20 lbs) and aftermarket super light wheels. There are already aftermarket upgrades for the 3. I’m wondering if the sunroof could be swapped for a carbon fiber panel.

        So there’s definitely a path to getting the Model 3’s weight down. It’s not there yet of course, but I think it can be done.

        Here’s a 3,600 lb M2 chasing a Model 3 on the Nurburgring:
        youtube.com/watch?v=dD8gvM8M1zE&feature=youtu.be

        Here’s a Model 3 being pushed to the limit on the autobahn:
        youtube.com/watch?v=B4oeV0Cgyk0

        • 0 avatar
          johnny_5.0

          A BMW M4 only weighs 4100 pounds if you are a 500 pound shut-in and happen to be abusing it’s suspension by sitting in it while it is being weighed.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    Did they fix whatever issue caused the Top Gear Alpine inverno?

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    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.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    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


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