Alpine A110 – a superlative sports car
The award-winning Alpine A110 is now faster and even more exciting to drive.
The Alpine A110 beat the Porsche Cayman as What Car's favourite sports car of 2019. Is it possible for its successor, the A110 S, to improve upon perfection? What Car's John Howell thinks it is. Stiffer anti-roll bars and springs combined with wider tyres results in a machine that's sharper and allows for greater control. "The S grips harder and leans less than the standard A110, so you can carry more speed through turns and get it to change direction quicker."
The steering feels more responsive and better connected, but being more balanced hasn't taken away from its charm. "The core character of the car is the same, but the way it goes about its business has suddenly gained a heap of extra focus and precision," says Stephen Dobie in Top Gear.
The stiffer set-up and larger tyres have also allowed it to gain some serious speed. Another 39bhp takes total power to 288bhp, giving the car a much "perkier edge" and taking it to a top speed of 161mph. The A110 S also beats its main Porsche rival in a sprint, taking only 4.4 seconds to reach 62mph. The fine-tuned machine starts at £56,810.
The car's design remains elegant and understated. The A110 S's subtly retro vibe has been maintained, but tweaks to some details black badging in place of chrome, a new wheel design and a drop in ride height add "a smidgen of extra assertion", says Dobie. In all, the improvements to this new model have made it a great road car , as well as working excellently on the track. It's a purer version of its predecessor faster, tighter and more agile. "By tightening it up, Alpine hasn't blurred the magic," says Howell, "but brought it into sharper focus."
Price: £56,810. Engine: 1,800cc, turbo. Power: 288bhp. Torque: 236lb ft. Top speed: 161mph. 0-62mph: 4.4 seconds