The French mid-engine athlete is taking off with three different variants. On the road with the 300 hp 110 S and 110 GT on the Circuit Paul Ricard and to the Col de'l Espigoulier.
The story of the new Alpine has not been an untroubled success story so far, at least on the German market. Since the acclaimed market launch for the 2018 model year, far fewer than 1,000 enthusiasts have signed sales contracts in this country. From this point of view, it doesn't seem wrong at all to help the small sports car from Dieppe in north-western France with a few facelift measures.
The Alpine is now available in three versions: the normal A110 with 252 hp and the 300 hp A110 S and A110 GT. The GT, as the model designation suggests, is the comfortable touring sports car, while the S, with tighter tuning and more negative wheel camber, is intended to be the committed cornering artist.
1,272 millimeters flat
What better place to try that than on the Circuit Paul Ricard, the traditional former Grand Prix track a few kilometers north-east of Marseille? An Alpine A110 S is ready, fitted with 18-inch Michelin PS2 Cup tires and Sabelt Racing seats. With the obligatory helmet, you have to fold yourself up quite a bit to snake between the seat bulge and the edge of the roof in the 1,272 millimeter flat coupé. Inside, the new infotainment is noticeable, not much has changed in terms of operation. The driving modes are clicked on with the red button, "Track" should fit well here, but to be on the safe side we try it out in "Sport" mode first. The intervention thresholds for traction control and ESP are raised, the Getrag transmission shifts more quickly and the exhaust flaps switch to attack.,
"Be careful," says the instructor before the formation lap behind the Mégane RS pacecar, "behind the chicane and at the beginning of the On the other side it's still wet and slippery". Okay, let's do it. After a lap of the shortened GP course, the Mégane turns, full throttle. Wow, the 48 additional hp and the torque plus of 20 Nm are really noticeable. The Alpine shoots over the long straight, just before the braking point in front of the narrow right at the end of the pit lane, the sixth gear pops in, full in the iron.
A speed of 275 is possible
The Michelin PS2 semi-slicks stick perfectly to the ideal line despite the morning coolness, the sports car turns sharply, remains neutral and actually only throws a high-spirited swerve when accelerating out of the still slightly damp chicane in front of the back straight the asphalt. That creates trust, the next laps are in track mode. Now the ESP could also be completely deactivated (ah, oui completion, the instructor warned), but we don't have to try that on the remaining three laps.What can not be switched off: the roar from the flap exhaust. It sounds louder inside than outside, but after a while in the cramped cockpit it gets annoying. Especially when driving fast on country roads in sport mode, as we found out on a short trip to the Col de'l Espigoulier. The copy for the excursion lacks the aero package with front splitter and rear wing. It costs 5,360 euros and at top speed brings 60 kg downforce on the front axle and 81 kg on the rear axle. And also not unimportant: The maximum speed with the aero package is 275 km/h.,
The motor with 300 hp and 340 Nm torque is the same for the A110 S and the more comfortable A110 GT. He pleases off the track with even power delivery and good manners. Getting the additional power from the 1.8-liter turbo wasn't a problem, says development engineer Denis Rebourg. And the Getrag transmission, actually designed for a maximum of 320 Nm, was reinforced and optimized in the right places in cooperation with the German supplier. It pleases with the test drives in Provence with quick shifting maneuvers and fixed reactions. So that also fits with the new model year of the A110. The prices? The normal version, which still has 252 hp, is available from EUR 58,850, the GT costs at least EUR 68,850, the S EUR 70,850 and the new Feu Orange paint finish EUR 1,840. After all, anyone can drive a blue Alpine.,
With the expansion of the model range, Alpine is taking the logical next step. The S with Aerokit is a fun device for track days and alpine passes, the GT is a surprisingly relaxed touring athlete. And for everyone else, there is still the affordable basic model.