Text and photos by IVÁN SANTAMARÍA (RS: @GASANDROADS)
Sleep does not help much as we roll out of bed. The team held a brief meeting to finalize details at the rural house, where we stayed overnight. We waited that morning for guests to arrive to enjoy a Test Drive of Alpine’s latest models. We have a quick breakfast and get to work!
As soon as we enter the town square just outside, morning dew covers the two models that we can test today. An Apine A110S in White Irise and an Alpine A110 in Abysse Blue, both looking spectacular. The 4 headlights along with the shape of the nose pay homage to it “grandfather”, the Alpine A110 from the 70’s. Standing 1.2 meters high (4’ 1”), from the side profile view we see that it carries forward the essence of the Alpine design language. We will see if it drives with the same purity.
We opened the doors to the A110S and settled into the seats, which as expected, give the driver a lot of support without being uncomfortable We put the key in its compartment located in the central console just in front of the gear selector, and press the start button, letting the car warm up for a few minutes. This looks good!
Before the participants arrive, we go for a ride with the A110 and A110S around the area to verify that everything is ready. We left the town and started entering into some tight corners. Its weight distribution of almost 50/50 (44% for the front axle and 56% for the rear), along with firm and direct steering properties, make driving on a twisty road somewhat therapeutic for this 1100kg (2425 lbs) machine. Even on your worst days, this car is capable of making you smile from start to finish.
At each acceleration we hear the suction of the engine right at the back of our neck. While we look in the rear view mirror, we see the A110 in Abysee Blue behind us. At that time of morning, with the rays of dawn filtering between the trees, it leaves us a simply magical image. We think our RoadStrs are going to love this car!
We return from the verification lap to the meeting point, and the first guests are already in the square. We see an M2, a Maserati GranSport, some Porsches … Wow, the level of cars with which our guests come is very high.
The first attendees settle into both the A110 and the A110S. Each one makes the journey in one direction with one of the cars and returns in the other. Our first guest, owner of a BMW 240i, immediately comments how light the car feels and how easy it is to change direction on the road. We arrive at the first stop, and the smiles on the faces of each participant is akin to a group of kids at the amusement park.
After a few minutes of talking, the participants trade cars and we return to the meeting point via the same route. The process repeats for several shifts throughout the day, all with the same result. Every driver who gets behind the wheel of the Alpine has an ear-to-ear smile when exiting.
We were impressed by the reaction of our guests, considering the level of cars they drove to the even such as a BMW M2, M4, Lotus Evora, Porsche 987S, Mazda Mx5 RF and a long list of cars that are already fun on these types of road. If all of them left the Alpine with a smile on their faces, it is because something is undeniable. Alpine has remained true to its beginnings, and its cars are made to enjoy driving.
We only hope that the users who joined us on this first Alpine Day had as much fun as we did.