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In-depth reviews

Alpine A110 – design

No matter which way you look at it, the compact and retro-infused A110 looks stunning; and deeply purposeful in R spec

Evo rating
Price
from £54,490
  • Nimble, engaging, sophisticated and distinctive, it’s all the sports car we should ever need
  • Ultimate body control at and over the limit can be problematic

The Alpine’s retro-modern design might feel familiar now it’s been on sale for a few years, but it still turns heads like few other shapes on the road. The tight surfacing and flared arches give it a real aggression on the road, despite the Alpine’s dinky proportions. The A110 S is also available with a subtle aero kit that includes a front splitter and rear wing. The look is a little tacked-on in appearance, but for those after a more motorsport-like aesthetic it does hold its own appeal.

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Next to the A110 R, though, the aero kit-equipped S looks tame. With its dropped ride height, carbonfibre wheels and exposed carbon panels, the R looks every bit the road racer it was designed to be, but the bodywork changes aren't just for show. Compared to the aforementioned aero kit, the R generates an extra 29kg of downforce while reducing drag by five per cent thanks to its bespoke splitter, side skirts, rear wing and diffuser. 

Whichever you choose, the Alpine looks simply sensational from almost any angle. For starters, it really is tiny – 4180mm long and just 1252mm high – and dwarfed by the likes of a Porsche Cayman and Audi TT. Its flowing design draws heavily on the original ’60s A110 but with enough injection of modernity to keep it looking fresh and relevant. It’s a lithe and slinky-looking car that turns heads as readily as supercars costing three or four times as much. On the road, its four-roundell lighting graphic is still a defining feature, and makes its presence obvious from a long way up the road.

Customisation options are extensive thanks to the introduction of the Atelier service a few years back, which opens up a raft of exterior paint options and more wheel colours. There's also an expanded choice of brake caliper colours and two-tone body colours, with an optional gloss-finish carbonfibre roof on the S and GT models. Despite raising the cost quite substantially the Atelier programme has really made the A110 feel like a high-end supercar in miniature.

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