Whenever they decide to come up with more track-focused versions of outgoing models, most car makers tend to strip them to the essentials, make the ride a bit firmer, throw in a few extra horses and make it insanely costly. Does that apply to the new Alpine A110S, too?
To an extent, yes, because it’s a multi-Benjamin investment. In the UK, it costs more than its direct rival, the Porsche 718 Cayman T, and paying £56,810 ($72,946/€65,763) without any options means that it has to be very darn good, especially since the Cayman is quite competent – not to mention the prestige that comes with those Porsche badges.
Compared to the regular A110, the S is actually a couple of kilograms heavier. It features 50 percent stiffer spring rates, 100 percent stiffer anti-roll bars, rides 4 mm (0.2 in) lower and sports Brembo brakes. The front and rear tires are also wider, and what all this adds up to is a car with massive levels of grip, an almost complete lack of body roll and a firmer ride.
The meaty 1.8-liter, turbo-four has been tuned to deliver 292 PS (288 HP / 215 kW), 40 PS (39 hp / 29 kW) more than the non-S version, while torque has remained the same at 320 Nm (236 lb-ft). With the extra oomph, nought to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) takes 4.4 seconds, a mere one-tenth of a second improvement, and top speed has gone up by 10 km/h (6 mph), to 260 km/h (162 mph).
Nevertheless, the new variant of the Alpine is meant to be about providing a purer driving experience rather than outright speed. AutoExpress went to the official medial launch in Portugal to drive the A110S and, as you can discover in the following video, were stunned by it.