Alpine has produced a racing version of its A110 sports car to compete in a new one-make championship called the Alpine Europa Cup.
The A110 Cup, as it has been named, features a more powerful engine, lightened chassis and slick tyres. It has been engineered with input from Signatech – Alpine’s World Endurance Championship racing partner – and Renault Sport.
The car’s turbocharged 1.8-litre engine has been retuned to produce 266bhp, 18bhp more than the road car. This is still 10bhp short of the Renault Mégane RS that uses the same unit but, thanks to the Alpine Cup’s lighter 1050kg weight, the sports car’s power-to-weight ranks top at 253bhp/tonne.
Drive is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox, specifically developed for this application by Signatech and French engineering firm 3MO, which specialises in sequential gearboxes for rally cars. The car features paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel, as well as adjustable controls for the engine mapping, traction control and ABS.
As part of its racing makeover, the Alpine Cup’s interior has been completely stripped and fitted with a custom roll cage. Its monocoque chassis has also been adapted with strengthened mounting points for the car’s Öhlins adjustable suspension to bolt to.
The chassis hardware has been beefed up in order to handle the additional load generated by the car’s Michelin slick tyres. Grooved tyres are also available for wet conditions. Braking is handled by six-piston Brembo calipers that work with 355mm (front) and 330mm (rear) discs.
Alpine said the car’s set-up and geometry have been fine tuned with input from engineers at Signatech, which runs Alpine A470 LMP2 cars in the WEC, and Renault Sport. Signatech racing drivers Nicolas Lapierre and Nelson Panciatici have also been on hand during the car’s development. Alpine said the objective for the car was to make it both fast and forgiving to drive.
Despite its harder focus, the car does retain air conditioning and the driver’s seat sits on adjustable mounts. Alpine can also equip the car with a second seat for demonstration passenger runs, but said only buyers who will race in the championship will be granted a car - so track-day enthusiasts are excluded at first.
Before the inaugural Alpine Europa Cup season starts on the 1-2 June at France’s Circuit Paul Ricard, Alpine will host drivers who have signed up for the season at test days with the target of each surpassing 4600 miles of running before round one.
The 12-round championship will visit six circuits (each hosting two races) including Hockenheim in Germany, Spa in Belgium and Silverstone in the UK. Alpine is charging €100,000 excluding taxes (£106,388 including UK tax rate) for the car, with the series registration fees amounting to about £18,000. Winners of each of the series’ three classes – overall, junior (for under-25s) and gentleman (over-45s) – will split £142,000 worth of prize money.