Alpine A110 R, an ultimate iteration for the Dieppe sportswoman

“R” as radical. The Alpine A110 R embodies the quintessence of the Dieppe firm’s know-how in terms of sports performance. In the program, reworked aerodynamics and grip, carbon fiber galore and… a Fernando Alonso edition limited to 32 copies.

A worthy successor to the legendary berlinetta of the same name, the Alpine A110 R captures the magic of the 1960s original… a light two-seater sports car with a superb driving experience and stunning looks. Features that propel the small sports car to the ranks of success both on the international scene and in the hearts of brand lovers…

Alpine then decided to go beyond the bid by diversifying the range, then the Alpine A110 GT and the Alpine A110 S appeared in addition to the basic version. The balance is absolutely positive: the basic model maintains its purity, the GT is slightly the best equipped for long journeys and the S is the clear choice for those who sometimes drive on the circuit… until the brand decided to release an ultimate version, the A110 R. This iteration with a more sporty soul will delight fans of adrenaline and high-flying performance.

A carbon fiber diet

At first glance, the new A110 R does not appear to show any major differences compared to the other versions of the range, however the French brand has revealed that this sporty radical has undergone an “extreme diet” that has reduced weight this. 34 kg, compared to the A110 S, which reached 1,082 kg.

Although most of the body panels follow the normal S made of aluminum, itself a light and relatively expensive material, Alpine introduced for the first time in the A110 range, carbon fiber parts that redesigned and visible on its bonnet. , roof, front splitter, rear diffuser, spoiler and wheels.

The diffuser helps reduce turbulence in the airflow, and relies on two new carbon fins, which aim to channel the air under the diffuser. As for the new braided carbon fiber wheels, they contribute more than a third of the car’s cumulative weight gain, while better managing the airflow around the car’s sides. Compared to the A110 S’s alloy wheels, the carbon fiber package saves 12.5 kg in total.

The cumulative effect of this strict diet of the Alpine A110 R makes it almost 25% lighter than the same-priced Porsche Cayman GT4. While the A110 R cannot quite overtake a GT4 in a straight line (both cars take 3.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h), the featherweight of the little Dieppoise threatens to change the situation in favor on the A110 R on a narrow runway.

An unchanging machine…

Despite its impressive appearance, the A110 R is no more powerful than the rest of the range, and is therefore equipped with the famous 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbo unit placed in the middle position, which delivers a power of 300 hp and a maximum. torque of 340 Nm. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, but with a new 3D-printed double-walled exhaust outlet.

These figures allow the A110 R to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, which represents a reduction of three tenths of a second compared to the A110 S (4.2 s), and d reach the maximum speed of 285 km/h , 25 km/h faster than the Alpine A110 S.

In the same way as the A110 S, this R version offers three customizable driving modes, Normal, Sport and Track, which allow to change the sensitivity of the accelerator pedal and the engine, as well the direction, the behavior of the gearbox and the stability control change according to the selected driving mode.

Alpine engineers improved performance elsewhere… by saving weight, increasing grip, increasing downforce and reducing drag, rather than just increasing power. Xavier Sommer, Alpine Program Director, said: ” We are not in an arms race, and power has a bad effect on weight, cost, cooling, brakes… In the world of CO2, even with this type of car, more important, people are more aware of having good power . to weight ratio and I think our message will be more and more successful “.

…but a chassis with operational adjustments

The biggest difference to the ‘normal’ A110, is the chassis setup, and this is where Alpine gambled on the R to give it a bit of an edge, especially at normal road speeds. where the aerodynamic improvements will not be felt. In its factory settings, the A110 R is 10mm lower than the A110 S, with 10% stiffer springs and stiffer anti-roll bars.

Here, Alpine turned to ZF for a new set of coil spring struts that offer 20 clicks of manual compression/retraction adjustment, main springs paired with auxiliary springs for the first time on an A110, and a adjustable ride height. The latter is uniquely suited to track work, where it will undoubtedly prove particularly transformative, especially in terms of handling weight transfer at higher speeds.

The whole setup is focused on a special compound of Michelin Cup 2 R semi-slick tires. The dimensions of 215/40 R18 at the front and 245/40 R18 at the rear are unchanged from the A110S, which also offers Cup 2 as an option. Brembo brakes with 320mm discs front and rear are standard – another option for the S – but the R gets better cooling thanks to new ducts in the front suspension upper arms and underbody.

On a circuit, the speed and accuracy of the A110 R is unquestionable. It is more lively than the normal versions and has better rear roll control. Its steering is heavier and quicker in its response, and cornering is sharper. There’s also more stability and power under braking and more bite everywhere on a track.

A racing interior

The interior of this new version of the A110, on the other hand, stands out for being completely made of carbon fiber, including the lining of the door panels, which enhances the sporty air of this model. . The most important addition to the interior is a pair of racing-looking carbon fiber Sabelt bucket seats with 4-point harnesses. Their comfort is surprising, with good support under the thighs and good lateral support.

Alcantara adorns the dashboard, which remains digital with physical climate controls, and the central iPad-like infotainment screen gets new track telemetry apps. The doors have woven pulls instead of handles.

Alpine removed the glass partition in the A110’s engine compartment and replaced its glass cover with a carbon fiber alternative. You also get a rear-view camera, which is important because there’s no rear windscreen; it joins the long list of R elements made of carbon fiber, at the expense of rear visibility.

A110 R Edition Fernando Alonso

Limited to 32 copies, this unprecedented edition of the Alpine A110 R will be presented at the Paris Motor Show in October 2022. Aesthetically, there are some minor changes… Alonso’s A110 uses the same Racing Matte blue as the Alpine F1 car, and the new paintwork extends to the carbon fiber elements of the A110 R, which were previously bare. There is also a blue-orange-yellow flag on the rear windows, again to show the car’s association with the two-time F1 world champion.

The Alonso Edition comes with a more tunable suspension, with a possible 5% increase in stiffness and a 10mm reduction in ride height – but this setting is for track use only. The number 32 represents every Spanish victory in F1, with each car having a plaque representing an individual victory, with the name of the circuit and year of victory.

patrick coune

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