Is he the best in sports? Answer in our article

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2022 Alpine A110 S: the Porsche method

New, the adjective is probably a little too strong. But the improved A110 is for the 2022 vintage. And as with Porsche, a manufacturer that knows better than anyone how to reject its models in so many variants, there are now Alpines for every taste. The basic version (shortly called A110) remains unchanged with 252 hp on the rear wheels. The only real change for the latter is the adoption of a central touchscreen with a new, more modern interface. If this hardware is clearly available on other models, the best-in-class GT and S get more of a change. Boasting the standard chassis of its smaller sibling but richer equipped, the GT sees the 1.8 Turbo’s power increase to 300 hp and now with 340 Nm (+20 Nm) torque advanced as well. This double gain was made possible by the regulations requested from Getrag, the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission supplier for the A110. More radical like the GT3 in the Porsche 911 series, the A110 S gets the same engine and big brakes as the GT, adding an optimized chassis. Combined springs/shock absorbers have tighter settings, as do anti-roll bars, and coincidentally remain the same as the S version (292 hp) released in 2019.

On the plane, Sabelt bucket seats worthy of a race car clearly show the craft of the machine. And there is something better. Optionally, the S can get an aero kit with a blade on the front and real carbon on a rear wing… as evidenced by the claimed €5,400. Enough to add boost at high speed, the latter for the case with increased 15 km / h or 275 km / h anyway! Enough to seduce track enthusiasts, especially as Alpine offers a choice of the latest innovation that changes everything on the track, special shoes, namely the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 semi-slicks… Gentlemen, start your engine!

A110 S: small changes, big effects

It is true that the weather is pleasant all year round in the south-east of France, the location chosen by Alpine for testing around the Castellet circuit. But there is a catch. The absence of clouds also causes severe frosts at night and causes the hinterland roads to turn into ice rinks. In a normal car, there’s already enough to take in some heat. With a semi-slippery A110 S shoe, the issue turns into a session of more or less artistic tricks. Let’s be frank, the choice of these tires should be carefully considered, and we advise future customers to plan a more classic fit for the cold season. However, this warm-up session before we go to test the circuit at the wheel of the hottest Alpine already reveals a few things. First, and ultimately logical, the power and torque gains are insignificant compared to the older 292 hp version. Someone who can feel the difference between 4.2 and 4.4 s to reach 0-100 km/h is really smart. Either way, frankly, with a tonic-type 1.8 turbo and an efficient dual-clutch box, it unleashes the exhaust that’s very generous in sympathy kickbacks, even if you have to switch to sport mode to get more tone out of it.

Another pleasant surprise about this Alpine S is that it is not a piece of wood. Undoubtedly, the machine saves its passengers from fewer road defects compared to the standard chassis (really surprising at this point). But you won’t break your back after 100 km. On the other hand, it is clearly on the behavior side that the agreement changes. Where the classic A110s surprise with their body roll and hilarious behavior, the S relies on the precision of the front axle in particular, which we didn’t neglect to check on the Castellet route. Once warmed up, the tires give you more grip, allowing you to draw more precise lines and counteract the effects of understeer. Enough to fully exploit the potential of a great toy in the cornering sections by switching to the rider-free Track drive mode (limited electronic aids and button press possibility). At the same time, the more experienced for propulsion have fun exiting the curves with generous commas, the machine twisting there with good grace. Admittedly, the A110 isn’t the most powerful sports car in the world, but because it’s among the lightest, it’s a tough hunter of big mechanical play and lap times that often exceed one and a half tons. What puts less stress on the brakes and tires at the wheel of the French. “Track Day” fans, including AM’s partner Exclusive Drive, will also appreciate the A110 S, as supplies start to get expensive while you’re having fun…

The Aero kit is one of the new features of the 2022 Alpine A110S.  Billed at €5,400 (all the same!), it adds downforce at high speed, thus increasing the top speed by 15 km/h, or 275 km/h.  .
The Aero kit is one of the new features of the 2022 Alpine A110S. Billed at €5,400 (all the same!), it adds downforce at high speed, thus increasing the top speed by 15 km/h, or 275 km/h. .© Alpine

A110 S: attractive yes…but not the best

More meticulous, faster, more efficient, the Alpine A110 S (€71,500) is undoubtedly unbeatable when compared to its siblings. But in our opinion, this is not the best version. A110 (59.500 €) and A110 GT (69.500 €), which are more comfortable and more fun with the previous slides, which are easier to control, are more recommended in our opinion. Between the two, our hearts lean in favor of the GT, as it’s both S (300 hp) S-equivalent power and richer and more luxuriously equipped. What comes next is a matter of taste and use, a difficult choice that Porsche 911 enthusiasts know well…