Alpine A110S Gets Faster and Firmer (But Still Not Coming to America)

Automotive News 488 June 14, 2019 by

After around two years on the market, the reborn Alpine A110 now has a new, higher-performing model. Meet the new A110S.

The S adopts the same 1.8-liter turbocharged engine as the Pure and Légende. Here it pumps out an extra 39 ponies, bringing the total headcount to 288hp. Torque remains unchanged at 236lbft, and it all runs through the same seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Both figures occur higher up on the rev counter however, an intentional choice from Alpine. “The objective was to intensify the engine’s character and power delivery,” states Chief engineer Jean-Pascal Dauce. “The A110S is characterized by high-speed stability and handling precision, and it was important to mirror those distinctive dynamic traits with the car’s powertrain as well.”

The lightweight mid-engined model tips the scales at only 2456lb, which gives it a better power-to-weight ratio than the Porsche Cayman GTS. Buyers will be able to shave a further 4lb off with a carbon fiber roof option too. Alpine quotes a 0-62mph sprint of 4.4 seconds, which is one tenth faster than its lesser siblings.

Incremental changes apply to the corners of the A110S too. The 18-inch wheels are now wrapped in slightly wider, unique Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber (215/40R front, 245/40R rear). The optional 12.6-inch Brembo brakes of the rest of the range are standard equipment here. Optional Fuchs alloys — yes, the same company behind the iconic classic 911 wheels — are also available.

It’s under the skin that Alpine has wrought more drastic changes. New coil springs are a massive 50% stiffer, alongside retuned dampers. Hollow anti-roll bars are no less than 100% stiffer than the previous items.

Oh, and the whole thing has dropped 0.15 inches closer to the ground. You probably picked up on that right away, right?

The interior gets dashes of bright orange in place of the blue elsewhere in the lineup. Dinamica microfiber lines the roof, sun visors, door panels, and the lightweight Sabelt seats. The wheel gets some of the soft-touch material too, as well as leather and an orange 12 o’clock marker.

Dauce explains how this all adds up to a very different personality in the A110S:

“Earlier versions of the A110 were pitched very much in line with the original 1970s A110 – just like that classic model they’re playful and fun to drive. The A110S has a very different character. Its bespoke chassis setup makes it a very focused sports car. High-speed stability and handling precision are two of its defining characteristics. Although lap times are never a priority for our road cars, the new A110S is nonetheless faster than the A110 ‘s other versions.

 

“However, what’s important is that it is a comfortable and usable everyday car. The A110S wouldn’t be a true Alpine if it was very firm or too hard-riding to be driven day-to-day. Nor does it demand a very high level of ability on the part of its driver to be fun and rewarding – just like our other models, the A110S can be enjoyed by drivers with any level of experience.”

Sadly, these changes don’t accompany a new sales plan expanding the A110’s availability outside of Europe. Deliveries will begin before the end of the year, starting at €66,500 before options — roughly $75k USD at current exchange rates.

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