Much to our delight, Alpine is not only coming back with a rejuvenated, modern A110 mid-engine sports car, but it’ll look almost exactly like the concept that bowed at last year’s Monte Carlo Rally. We’ve now seen the car in person and can confirm that it’s an absolute stunner. The little Frenchman’s specs are perhaps equally compelling, down to its low weight, powerful turbo engine, and rear-biased weight distribution.
Because of its all-aluminum body and platform, the A110 weighs in at just 2,380 pounds. That’s 80 pounds lighter than the exotic Alfa Romeo 4C, and it makes 15 more horsepower. The A110’s 1.8-liter mid-mounted, turbocharged inline-four engine makes 252 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque (versus 258 lb-ft in the Alfa), helping it accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 4.4 seconds. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels. An active sports exhaust provides the soundtrack, which is variable depending on which of the three driving modes (Normal, Sport, Track) is engaged.
Brembo brakes serve up powerful stoppage, with help from aluminum brake calipers housed within 18-inch lightweight forged aluminum wheels.
Inside the A110 is totally modern. There are jet fighter-ish toggle switches underneath the center-mounted touchscreen, a chunky-looking steering wheel with paddle shifters and a carbon-fiber-clad dashboard, and a handsome diamond-pattern leather trim with French-flag detailing. A central tunnel between the driver and passenger houses several buttons to control handle shifting from reverse to drive, ostensibly in a system similar to what we already know from the 4C.
There are still no plans whatsoever to bring the Alpine A110 to the U.S., but it’s nonetheless a beautiful car whose arrival represents the returned of a storied brand indeed. We’ll have to live vicariously through France-based design editor Robert Cumberford, as if his home in the countryside weren’t already enough.