The Alpine A110S Has Been Announced And We’ll Probably See it at Le Mans
Unfortunately, we won’t see it in Americaby Kirby, on
After months of speculation, Alpine has finally pulled the covers off of the A110S, the new range-topping model in the French automaker’s budding performance lineup. The A110S takes its place above the standard A110 with more power on tap in addition to a specific chassis setup and improved power-to-weight ratio. It’s largely still the same beautiful coupé that burst into the scene in 2017, but the A110S also benefits from a few cosmetic upgrades in the exterior and interior department. Unfortunately, the Alpine A110S isn’t coming to the U.S. market. It is already available in Europe, though, with a starting price of €66,500. That converts to around $75,000 in case you were wondering. Alpine is expected to start delivering the A110s to customers beginning in October this year. As for us here in America, well, tough luck yet again.
Alpine A110 - What Makes it so special?
I’m on record saying that the Alpine A110 is one of my favorite sports cars in the market today. That still holds true to this day. I love the way it looks and while it’s not particularly dripping in power, its 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine is peppy enough to produce 249 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. I’m particularly fond of the A110 Legende trim, which, in addition to featuring six-way adjustable sports seats and a choice of either a black or brown leather interior upholstery, comes with an upgraded hi-fi audio system and specially designed wheels exclusive to this specific trim. There’s a lot to love about the Alpine A110, but if you’re the type who looks for any form of extra that you can get, the A110 offered plenty of room to answer those desires.
Alpine A110S - How is it different?
Well, here we are. Alpine has answered the call. The new A110S is not only a higher-spec version of the A110, but it’s also an all-around better version than the sports car that first made its debut two years ago at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The good becomes better. The awesome becomes, well, more awesome.
To be clear, the Alpine A110S shares the same design DNA as the A110. The shape and profile remain the same, but Alpine gave the A110S a selection of visual updates to not only differentiate the higher-trim model from the standard A110, but, more importantly, to give it an identity that it can call its own. A number of these visual updates can be found in the sports car’s body, including the orange and carbon fiber flag details on the C-pillar. This is admittedly hard to see at first glance, but you will eventually notice that orange speck because of how it pops out relative to the other colors surrounding it. In fact, Alpine’s use of orange as a visual nod isn’t limited to the carbon fiber flag. The brake calipers sitting behind the 17-inch GT Race alloy wheels are also finished in orange. All the color options available to the A110 are also available to the A110S. The latter does have an exclusive paint finish — Gris Tonnerre Matte Grey — that it can call its own. I like this particular color on the A110S. It’s classy yet understated, Combine the color with the black alloy wheels, orange brake calipers, and the orange and carbon fiber decal and you have a pretty clean and attractive presentation of the A110S.
Alpine A110S Interior
The interior is the same story. It’s predominantly dressed in black Dinamica faux suede— no surprises there; the A110S isn’t a luxury car — but you’ll also see specks of color throughout coming in the form of orange stitching on the seats, dashboard, center tunnel, door handles, and door armrests. The orange stitching accomplishes more than just keeping all the faux suede in their proper place; it gives life and personality to an otherwise dreary interior. Unfortunately, some of the A110’s sore spots also appear on the higher-spec A110S. The plastic surfaces are one too many for my liking. I also appreciate the driver-oriented design of the interior, but there aren’t that many meaningful changes in this one to really drive home the point that the A110S sights above every other version of the Alpine sports car.
Take the race-inspired instrument clusters behind the steering wheel, for example. It looks nice and functional, but a little upgrade in that department couldn’t have hurt. Same thing with the center stack. The layout and functions are understandable, but with the infotainment screen sitting in the upper section and the plethora of buttons, knobs, switches, and dials, the entire section still looks way more crowded than it probably should. This isn’t an indictment on the purpose of these functions, but there is something to be said for maintaining the usefulness of these functions while also presenting a cleaner and more streamlined look in this area of the A110S. Oh, well. I suppose you can’t have everything, can you? The good news is that the A110S does come with lightweight Sabelt sports seats. Equally important is the re-appearance of the same orange carbon fiber flag emblem that’s found in the exterior of the A110S.
The cosmetic changes on the Alpine A110S are evident. But they’re not as significant as the mechanical updates the French automaker made to improve the sport car’s performance and driving capabilities.
Alpine A110S Powertrain
First, the numbers. The Alpine A110S uses the same 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine as its A110 counterpart. The engine is also connected to the same seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as the A110. Both models are also rear-wheel-drive. The difference is that the A110S can send more power to the two rear wheels to the tune of 288 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. That’s 38 horsepower more than what the A110’s turbo four engine produces. Torque numbers remain the same but it’s now available all the way from 2,000rpm to 6,400rpm.
There’s also a brake-based electronic differential that balances the output between the rear wheels to make the most of the coupe’s traction with the road. With these numbers in tow, the A110S can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds, making it 0.1 seconds faster than the A110. It also has a higher top speed of 162 mph compared to the A110’s 155-mph top speed. All these are great, but they also don’t paint the entire picture on why the A110S might as well be a completely different model compared to the A110.
For that, we have to go to chassis. The Alpine A110S sits closer to the ground by 4 mm (0.16 inches) and boasts springs that are 50 percent stiffer than the ones found on the A110. Alpine also added anti-roll bars that are 100 percent stiffer. These aren’t sexy upgrades. Not the least bit. But they are important and significant, particularly when it comes to driving the sports car on the road. Stiffer springs make for more adventurous drives, in part because it doesn’t provide as much mechanical grip as softer springs on the road. Knowing this makes the Alpine A110S an interesting choice for a sports coupé, particularly for those who are prone to engage in a little driving debauchery from time to time.
Alpine A110S Price
The Alpine A110S starts at €66,500, which converts to around $75,000. The latter amount doesn’t matter, though, because this raving beauty isn’t headed to the U.S. It is available in Europe already and deliveries are expected to start sometime in October. In the meantime, the Alpine A110S looks like it’s headed to the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend. That’s as good a time and event as any to get our first close-up look at Alpine’s new range-topping sports coupé.
|Porsche 718 Cayman||€55,040|
|Porsche 718 Cayman S||€67,790|
|Alfa Romeo 4C||€63,200|
|Alpine A110 Premier Edition||€58,500|
Read our full review on the 2017 Alpine A110
Check out more details on the Alpine A110 GT4 Concept.