Alpine A110 S review (2020)

22 Jul 2021, 14:02  •  Review  •  Door koen

With a sports car you can do two things to make it really fast: weight down or extra horsepower. Alpine does both. The light A110 is now available as an S with an additional 40 hp from the 1.8-litre turbo engine. How does that feel? Read on quick!

A110 S Direct Control

The answer to the question is: simply festive. But with some caveats. That you have no objection to a pretty hard suspension, an engine that wants to be heard and a very direct steering. It feels like you’re in a kart: low to the ground in bucket seats and with an unprecedented purity of driving, but with the comfort of a closed car, heating and air conditioning.

Compared to Porsche Boxster

There’s something else, why driving this car is so much fun and feels different from, say, a Porsche Boxster. Alpine is enchanting, history and above all a sports car brand that was raised on the shield by Renault in the last century. Lightly designed bodies with a Renault powertrain resulted in resounding victories in rallying, among others. This was especially successful with the then A110.

Alphine A110 model

The external features and contours have been transformed with extreme precision to a new A110 and now there is also the S version as an extra powerful variant. Completely in this matt gray color Gris Tonnerre (additional cost 4,840 euros) you are almost certain that you are on the road with a quite unique car. Really, the Alpine attracts attention like a magnet. We were often asked what kind of car it is. “It’s not a Porsche, but what is?” It’s great that attention: if you invest in something special, appreciation is a wonderful by-catch. The only car that has the same kind of magic and steals hearts is the Alfa 4C. However, it is no longer for sale new.

Alphine A110 exhaust

The S version offers an extra 40 hp, with which the 1.8-liter turbo now delivers 292 hp. You notice this bonus especially at higher speeds. Then the power source is even more toxic and that’s how it sounds when you press the red -sport- button on the steering wheel. The steering is then more direct and the Alpine reacts more sharply to the gas. The 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission then shifts at higher revs and does that really quickly. When downshifting, the Alpine gives intermediate gas with a purring exhaust sound. You can also hear that when you switch on.

Handling Alphine

In driving mode you normally hear the engine less, but a little extra gas also produces an inhaling snore from the block. The engine compartment is located just behind the bucket seats. This mid-engine arrangement provides the infectiously sporty driving feeling. Changing direction is so light and easy. The nose sends you super directly into the bend and the rear follows perfectly. What addictive stability!

Alphine acceleration

You really don’t want to do anything but steer on winding roads. The highway is boring and boring quickly. We believe the top speed of 260 km/h. The fun is in steering, accelerating (from 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds) and braking. All three actions can be used surprisingly late. The chassis (4 mm lower on the S) inspires confidence, the extra powerful brakes do the same. It is sometimes a challenge not to overtake vehicles in front every time. It is possible, but control is often more sensible for social reasons. Or find the circuit…

Alpine A110S (2020), possibilities – AutoRAI TV

A110S recognition

The Alpine A110 S distinguishes itself from the other 252 hp versions with black Alpine lettering, orange brake calipers, matte black GT wheels, orange stitching on the upholstery and really nice Sabelt bucket seats. The tested example had a series of options, in addition to the matte gray paint, such as audio from top brand Focal. Frankly, you can delete that, because the engine sound is much nicer. And that’s what you want to hear when you drive Alpine.

Astra A110S gimmicks

The instrumentation changes with the driving mode. If you press the Sport button on the steering wheel for longer, it switches to Race mode. You can see the tachometer on a large screen plus information that can be useful or welcome during circuit use. Just a fun gimmick, but keep in mind that the guardian angels have been sent on vacation. The driving assistance systems are off and that can be quite exciting if you accelerate hard on a wet road. With so much power and a short wheelbase, breaking out is just around the corner. That happens quickly and you have to be practiced to cope with that.

Pricing Astra A110S Pricing

Oh yes, if you still have practical wishes, there are small luggage spaces in the front and back that are large enough for a small trolley or weekend bag. And you can store some small items behind the seats. The Alpine A110 S costs 77,900 euros. That is 11,600 euros more than the Pure version. You definitely get a spicier and even sportier driving car. Do you want to know more and do you want to experience the Alpine yourself: you can do that at the two Alpine Centers in our country in Soestdijk and Hengelo.

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