Written by: Alberto Moreno (RS: @albertomorenog)
Photos by: Carlos Sotillo (RS: @csotillo)
It’s not every day that you have the chance to drive a car whose sole purpose is to enjoy the road. How many current cars for sale come to your mind that conform with such a strong statement?
In a world where digitalization, safety, and shared platforms are our normal day-to-day, finding something as special, daring, and different as the Alpine A110 takes a lot.
1100 Kg (2425 lbs), 252 hp mid-engine, well-balanced, perfect proportions, as well as a double-clutch gearbox are a cocktail of pure effectiveness. Tuned by the Renault Sport team, it has a 44/56 weight distribution, which ensures a perfect balance, thanks to aspects such as the fuel tank located behind the front axle and the engine perfectly positioned in front of the rear axle.
Good, now let’s get to the point. How does it feel?
First of all we’d like to highlight what has surprised us the most. We start with the force and nerve of the engine from very low revs and it’s almost electric-like acceleration, with “only 252 hp”. Power isn’t missing at any point, especially on mountain roads, where the vehicle is really put to the test. Maybe at high speeds its small 1.8 liter turbo engine doesn’t sip quite as much, but that’s not what the Alpine is all about.
Also a surprise is the comfort and adjustment of the suspension. Many in the media have criticized it for its softness, but we find it to be a perfect balance between sportiness and usability. The standard brakes pleasantly surprised us, with a short, hard touch that never left us in trouble.
Finally, the A110 incites fun at all times, always searching for curvy roads, calling for that early morning drive, and asking to play with its perfect balance, which even on wet roads conveyed enormous confidence. Even if we could have it in our garage every day, we don’t know if we’d ever get tired of it, and we love that aspect.
What would we improve about the Alpine? We’re not enthralled with the steering, which was too loose and indirect for our tastes, especially at low speeds. This aspect is improved in the new version of the A110S, which promises to be more sporty.
Its unique design caught glances in every town we passed through, yet another benefit of the French sports car. It’s a pity that our users in the United States cannot easily purchase this model, as it would be a real wonder in “the canyons”.
One last wish? A manual Alpine, which would make the mythical sports car a real object of desire for most purists.
From the RoadStr community, we want to thank Alpine and the Renault group for taking a bet on such a vehicle, a real driver’s car, one that excites and encourages us to not stop driving. A car designed for us, not merely as another mode of transportation.
Special thanks to the Alpine Center Spain team for lending us the vehicle and being able to live a very RoadStr weekend.