Alpine’s new three-tier A110 range features an entry-level car with 252bhp, and the 300bhp GT and S derivatives
Precisely why the Alpine A110 works so well is because it doesn’t take things too far. Where other sports cars have been getting heavier, more potent and stiffer, the A110 is light, modestly-powered and reasonably soft. The thing is, although myriad car publications (this one included) have heaped praise on the Renault off-shoot’s oh-so-lovely coupe, sales haven’t exactly been spectacular.
Perhaps that’s why the A110’s mid-life update involves turning things up a notch, but not excessively so. At the top of the range remains an A110 S, but the output from the mid-mounted 1.8-litre inline-four has risen from 288 to 300bhp.
Granted, that’s not a huge increase, but the slight boost in power is only part of the story. Alpine has also added a new aero kit that comprises a rear wing and front ‘blade’ made from carbon fibre plus longer underfloor fairings to aid airflow to the rear diffuser. With these, the A110 is said to be nicely stable all the way up to its new top speed of 171mph (formerly 161).
The standard tyre is still Michelin Pilot Sport 4, with the sizing unchanged – you get 215/40/18s at the front and 245/40/18s at the rear. Now, though, you can optionally swap those out for stickier Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s. Otherwise, the chassis has been left alone, with a 4mm drop relative to the standard A110, 50 per cent stiffer springs and 100 per cent sturdier anti-roll bars. It also weighs the same as before at around 1100kg.
Where it gets really interesting is the A110 GT, sitting one step below in the new three-car range. This ditches that more focused chassis of the S but keeps the 18-inch wheels, bigger brakes and the 300bhp engine. The lightweight Sabelt seats are switched for something more comfort-oriented, but the mass increase is modest, so it’ll still manage 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds just as the S does.
The entry point is simply called ‘A110’. It features a 252bhp version of the 1.8-litre inline-four, smaller stoppers and 205/45/17 front/235/45/17 rear Michelin PS4 boots. 0-62mph happens in a respectably short 4.5 seconds.
Benefitting all models is a new infotainment system working out of a seven-speed touchscreen. This is good news, as the old one wasn’t brilliant. It comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and can take over-the-air updates, one of which will be a WiFi connection.
Want one? You’ll need to part with £49,905 for the A110, £59,355 for an A110 GT and £59,955 for an A110 S.