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In-depth reviews

Alpine A110 – performance and 0-60 time

Low weight philosophy and short gearing means the rasping turbo four delivers strong straight-line punch. It's smooth and responsive too

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

With 249bhp and 236lb ft available to propel the 1103kg base A110, it’s no surprise to find it’s a quick little car, with the 0-62mph sprint taking a claimed 4.5sec, four-tenths quicker than a base Cayman when fitted with a PDK transmission.

When we tested the car we managed a best of 4.6sec to 60mph, which is a strong result given that all our assessments are run two up and with a full tank of fuel. Yet it’s the A110’s elastic mid-range acceleration that really impresses, the combination of almost lag-free turbo torque and relatively short gearing helping the Alpine set a scorching in-gear pace.

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The S’s considerable bump in power takes these figures to 4.2sec for the 0-62mph time and a raised top speed of 170mph when fitted with the optional aero kit.

It's a shame that the A110 R doesn't have any extra power than the S to compliment its more capable chassis, but its slightly trimmer kerb weight of 1082kg and stickier Cup 2 tyres cut its 0-62mph time down to 3.9sec. It's faster than the S flat out, too, with its more efficient aero raising the top speed to 177mph.

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Overtaking slower traffic is a doddle, the A110 simply firing by with a squeeze of the throttle. In real-world situations the Alpine is probably as fast as you’ll ever need to go, zapping straights with an intent that’s genuinely surprising. The lack of weight and hearty torque also gives the A110 a responsive attitude to movements of the throttle, so you always feel able to meter out power as accurately as you like.

While gearchanges could be even quicker, they’re snappy enough in Sport mode that you’ll rarely feel short-changed (no pun intended). The ’box will refuse changes if it feels you’re downshifting a little too early, but happily won’t change up automatically at the limiter, so it’s mostly still down to you as a driver. The optional sports exhaust is a compelling option, and certainly adds some extra drama to the driving experience, with a cultured growl at idle, and when you’re cracking on the system will emit burbles and pops off-throttle. The main soundtrack though is of a rorty induction note, and it’s a far more pleasing sound than Porsche’s flat-four can muster.

Given its small dimensions and slippery shape, it’s no surprise to find the Alpine will easily hit three figure speeds. However, its light weight, light steering and relatively high-set mid-mounted motor mean that at really high speeds the A110 feels flightier than the rock-solid Porsche Cayman.

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