Acceleration, braking and each of the car's true weights are revealed, with surprising results...
Launch control is the order of the day for all three of these cars, making straight-line figuring fairly straightforward. Schoolboy French is needed to translate the Alpine’s instructions (Sport or Track mode, left foot on the brake, pull both paddles, then mash the throttle), but once sorted it sets a respectable 4.6sec for the 0-60mph dash – although the engagement of the clutch is always a little slurred, suggesting a few tenths are literally slipping away.
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The Cayman gets away more cleanly, managing an impressive 3.9sec. Yet neither car can catch the all-wheel-drive Audi here, its combination of total traction and awesome firepower helping to record a mind-boggling 3.5sec time. Think about that. There are bona fide supercars that are only a biscuit faster to 60mph.
A different picture emerges during our in-gear tests, however. Here, the TT’s vast reserves of torque are offset by its mass and taller gears, meaning the much lighter and shorter-geared Alpine pretty much matches it blow-for-blow, only falling behind as the speeds rise above 70mph.
It’s a similar story with the Porsche, which is hobbled by long-striding gearing that’d be more at home in a continent-crossing diesel. It means the Cayman is lethargic at low revs, only coming on strong when the welt of turbocharged torque really starts to hit home at about 3000rpm.
The Porsche is the only car specified with optional carbon-ceramic brakes, so it’s no surprise it stops from 100mph in the shortest distance. Less expected is the fluctuation in performance over the ten high-speed stops, as it also records the longest stopping distance. Its pedal also has the worst feel when stopping quickly, going very soft then pushing back against your foot as the emergency braking systems relinquish control as you come to a halt.
The Alpine is more consistent, its pedal only going softer in the last couple of runs – although there’s no big drop-off in performance. Best of the bunch is the Audi, which delivers the most consistent stopping distances and maintains a firm pedal throughout.
Alpine A110 Première Édition
Porsche 718 Cayman S
Audi TT RS
In-line 4-cyl, 1798cc, turbo
Flat-four, 2497cc, turbo
In-line 5-cyl, 2480cc, turbo
249bhp @ 6000rpm
345bhp @ 6500rpm
394bhp @ 5850-7000rpm
236lb ft @ 2000-5000rpm
310lb ft @ 1900-4500rpm
354lb ft @ 1700-5850rpm
|Transmission||Seven-speed dual-clutch, rear‑wheel drive|
Seven-speed dual-clutch (option), rear-drive, LSD with PTV (option)
Seven-speed dual-clutch, four‑wheel drive
205/40 R18 front, 235/40 R18 rear, Michelin Pilot Sport 4
235/35 R20 front, 265/35 R20 rear (option), Pirelli P Zero
255/30 R20 front, 255/30 R20 rear (option), Pirelli P Zero
1094kg as tested (1103kg claimed)
1449kg as tested (1355kg claimed)
1487kg as tested (1440kg claimed)
231bhp/ton using test-car weight (229bhp/ton claimed)
242bhp/ton using test-car weight (259bhp/ton claimed)
269bhp/ton using test-car weight (278bhp/ton claimed)
4.6sec as tested (4.5 to 62 claimed)
3.9sec as tested (4.4 to 62 claimed)
3.5sec as tested (3.7 to 62 claimed)
£51,805 (£51,805 as tested)
£51,853 (£74,277 as tested)
£52,480 (£61,780 as tested)
|PCP monthly price|
Not currently available
£428 (36 months, £12,100 deposit, 10,000 miles per annum limit)
£549 (48 months, £11,069 deposit, 10,000 miles per annum limit)