The Track-Ready Alpine A110 R Is Our Dream French Sports Car

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  • The new Alpine A110 R sheds 75 pounds from the standard version of the French sports car.
  • While output remains at 300 hp, the R should be more agile on the race track thanks to a re-tuned suspension and a new carbon fiber aero package that includes a larger rear diffuser.
  • The interior is decorated with Sabelt seats made of carbon fiber, with six-point seat belts instead of the standard belts.

There’s no shortage of sports cars available in the United States, from the sharp Porsche 718 twins to the rowdy Subaru BRZ and the iconic Ford Mustang. But that doesn’t mean we still don’t want one of Europe’s best coupes, the mid-engined Alpine A110, which has received plenty of plaudits for its agile handling, communicative steering and submissive ride. Now Alpine has revealed a new version of its motorsport-inspired four-cylinder sports car, the A110 R, featuring more extreme styling and revisions geared towards track driving.

While the A110 is already featherweight by modern standards, Alpine shaved off another 75 pounds to bring the curb weight down to 2,385 pounds, several hundred pounds lighter than the Boxster and Cayman. The carbon fiber hood, redesigned with vents that improve aerodynamic efficiency, saves 6.4 pounds, while the unique carbon fiber wheels eliminate another 27.6 pounds. The rear window has also been replaced with a carbon fiber cutout with air intakes to feed the 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-four engine.

The four-pot makes 300 horsepower, the same as the standard A110, and sends the horses to the rear via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The bike also produces 251 pound-feet of torque, and Alpine claims the A110 R will hit 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, a few tenths faster than the tame A110. The R model sits 0.4 inches lower and can be lowered another 0.4 inches thanks to the adjustable shock absorbers, while the anti-roll bars and springs are also stiffer. The A110 R also gets track-ready Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 semi-slick tires, and braking performance is improved thanks to a new Brembo clamper with an improved cooling system.

Aerodynamics have been reworked to increase downforce while reducing drag, and Alpine claims to use wind tunnel technology from its Formula 1 team. The wider, more sculpted diffuser constructed of carbon fiber and fiberglass sprouts vertical end plates on both sides, which isolate the diffuser from the “dirty” air escaping the rear wheels. While the rear wing has the same shape as a standard car, it is positioned further back and on a goose-neck mount which helps reduce lift. Carbon fiber side skirts also help with aero efficiency and give the A110 R a more established look. The rear generates 64 pounds more downforce at top speed compared to the A110 S Aero Kit, but Alpine also says drag is down five percent, helping increase its claimed top speed to 177 mph.

Inside, the A110 R has carbon fiber Sabelt seats that cut 11 pounds and fasten their passengers with six-point seat belts. The visible blue on the outside of the car—the same color used on Formula 1 drivers—decorates the doors, which also feature red door pulls. The rest of the cabin is covered in microfibre and carbon fiber, while the infotainment system packs a telemetry system for analyzing technical data.

There’s no word on how much the R model will cost more, but unfortunately we won’t be able to buy it, as Alpine has no plans to enter the US market any time soon. We have to use racing A110 R in our dreams.

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