• James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception

  • Captain Slow is known for owning some really strange and quirky cars, with a wide variety of cars in his garage ranging from his Hydrogen-powered Mirai to the BEV Tesla Model S
  • The former TopGear/Grand Tour presenter recently reviewed his Alpine A110 S on DriveTribe
  • He goes over the benefits of downsizing while he reviews the Alpine because James believes that A110 S really is a downsized super car
  • He draws this analogy because the Alpine has a mid-engined layout
  • and a lack of space for luggage
  • which are traits that are typical of a supercar like a Lamborghini or Mclaren
  • But there's one area where MAY thinks that the Alpine really shines
  • Renault has god the extra mile to shave off the pounds and saving weight, right down to not using speaker grilles and employing light weight performance seats
  • With that, James hits the road, where he reiterates the benefits of less weight
  • Firstly, you need smaller tires to lug around a lighter car
  • Second, you don't need a big engine. The Alpine features a modest 1.8 L engine that produces 248 HP and 236 lb-ft of torque
  • James says that these performance numbers are more than adequate for this lightweight supercar
  • with the Alpine offering quite the drive, as James takes to some of Britains B roads
  • Even though the man is all praises about the Alpine, there is one area where he feels the French Automaker got it wrong
  • Alpine like Ford with the Mustang, and FIAT with the 500, wanted to invoke a feeling of nostalgia with the A110S, drawing styling cues from the original 60's classic
  • But there's a problem. Although the proportions of the car are perfect viewed from the side
  • It is when these cars are viewed from up front
  • and from behind, where these cars tend to look rather blocky
  • James says that modern legislation and safety norms hamper a designers freedom, and as a result, these modern cars don't look their best
  • But apart from this one gripe, James totally acknowledges Alpine's effort of downsizing
  • Because it is cars like the A110 S that will help preserve the true spirit of a supercar in an age where every automaker is churning out SUVs.
  • Swipe Up to Read More and see the video!

The Former Top Gear Presenter is all praises about the Alpine A110 S, except for one thing

LISTEN 04:22

James May is at it again, this time taking us on a tour of yet another one, of his quirky cars, that the man owns. This one is a classic MAY Review that we have come to enjoy over the years. He goes over his Alpine A110 S, giving his unique perspective, highlighting details about the car that you might otherwise miss.

James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception
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He goes over the benefits of downsizing while he reviews the Alpine because James believes that A110 S really is a downsized super car

The Alpine A110 S is James’ second French car, with the first one being the Citroën Visa from the 90s. According to James, a mid-engined French car is good. However, many assume that just because the Alpine only has four cylinders and produces 248 horsepower, it is rubbish. James though thinks it is nothing short of a down-sized supercar.

James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception
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Here’s his analogy as to why he thinks so. The Alpine is mid-engined, the handling is frisky, the luggage capacity is rather poor and rear visibility is quite compromised. These are traits that have Super Car written all over them, reminiscent of cars like a Lamborghini or a McLaren.

Downsizing is a secret weapon that will help us preserve the cars that we love - James May
James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception
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Firstly, you need smaller tires to lug around a lighter car

What makes the Alpine different is its size and weight. James tells us that the size and weight on the Alpine are similar to those you’d find on a 1980s air-cooled Porsche 911. He goes on to gives us the benefits of downsizing. A smaller footprint on the ground obviously translates to lesser weight. However, James says that the engineers at Renault went the extra mile to shave off any excess pounds which they deemed unnecessary.

James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception
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The benefits of having a lightweight car are immense. You don’t require as much power, which means you can do away with smaller tires, which in turn results in a better steering feel and handling. You save on the Insurance costs, Gas and also the overall emissions are lower. So in the end, James acknowledges that there is no downside to downsizing.

James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception
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with the Alpine offering quite the drive, as James takes to some of Britains B roads

The 248 horses are more than adequate to lug around the lightweight Alpine. It is also considerably narrower when compared to a full-size supercar, which means it’s far more manageable on B roads in the U.K. He compares the Alpine to his Ferrari 458, which is apparently terrifying to drive. The Renault is nearly six inches narrower, making it far more maneuverable.

James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception
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James says that modern legislation and safety norms hamper a designers freedom, and as a result, these modern cars don’t look their best

So it’s been great so far with James showering the Alpine with nothing but praises. However, there is one aspect of the car that James isn’t that fond of. Any guesses? Well, James isn’t so sure about the way that this modern iteration of the classic 60’s icon looks.

I always have a bit of a problem with tribute stying because I don’t think it looks quite right. The problem I think is that the design language of 50 plus years ago, doesn’t square very well with the requirements of modern legislation - James May
James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception
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James isn’t the biggest fan of tribute styling where modern cars take styling cues of cars from the past. James compared the Alpine with other cars that have jumped on this trend, which includes the likes of the Fiat 500 and the Ford Mustang. The proportions of these cars are spot on when viewed from the side. It’s when you see these cars head-on, or from behind, where May thinks that these cars look blocky.

James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception
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The former TopGear/Grand Tour presenter recently reviewed his Alpine A110 S on DriveTribe

According to James, here’s where Alpine got it wrong. They went ahead and designed a car that would appeal to car enthusiasts, rather than setting about designing a modern car for modern people. Apart from the looks though, James says that everything else about the car is absolutely fantastic.

James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception
- image 1016774
But apart from this one gripe, James totally acknowledges Alpine’s effort of downsizing

Modern legislation like the position of the headlights, crashworthiness of a vehicle, and pedestrian safety all interfere with a designer’s freedom, compromising the end result. Designers from back in the day didn’t have to contend with them and had absolute freedom. Being a classic car buff myself, I couldn’t agree more with James and I feel that the ’60s gave us some of the best-looking cars of all time.

James May Loves the Alpine A110S With One Big Exception
- image 1016773
Alpine like Ford with the Mustang, and FIAT with the 500, wanted to invoke a feeling of nostalgia with the A110S, drawing styling cues from the original 60’s classic

In the end, the Alpine is a testament to what a modern supercar should be. There is no excess here, just the basics. It’s all about the drive. It sets a rather compelling example in times where every other manufacturer is churning out SUVs.

Watch James May’s review of the Alpine A110 S below


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Lp...

Khris Bharath
Khris Bharath
Khris is a classic car aficionado and adores his Jags and Alfas, although he keeps tabs on everything from super exotics like an old EB 110 to the latest from Lucid. Formula One is very close to his heart, and he diligently makes time to tune in for the Grand Prix on Sundays. Khris also loves his road trips and he prefers stick shift over an Auto any day.  Read full bio
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