Does a dash more performance make this run-out pre-facelift car the ultimate A110?

Find Alpine A110 Legende GT deals
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
New car deals
Nearly-new car deals
From £42,995
Sell your car
In partnership with
Powered by

It’s unusual to know quite so much about the whole life cycle of a sports car, both past and future, as we already do about the Alpine A110.

We know, for instance, that while the first examples were delivered in mainland Europe in 2017, the last will be made sometime in early 2024, before the firm’s Dieppe factory is repurposed for production of its all-new family of electric Alpine models.

Make and model lettering in ‘pale gold’ is just one of the ways that A110 aficionados might know your car from any other mid-spec series model. Subtle.

There is to be an electric successor to the current A110 developed alongside Lotus, of course, but also a performance version of the Renault 5 electric hatchback and a slightly bigger electric crossover coupé.

Just which of those cars will be made at Dieppe, and which elsewhere, remains to be seen, but it’s a safe bet that there won’t be room for combustion-engined cars there any longer. The clock is clearly ticking for the piston-engined A110, then.

It has already spawned a number of special editions, not to mention a full hat-trick of motorsport versions (Cup, GT4 and Rally). But, on the eve of the arrival of a facelifted A110, we are now taking the chance to run the road test rule over what, in principle, looks like the definitive version of the pre-facelift car: the Légende GT.

This model is a chimaera of a kind: an A110 with the softer chassis settings of the mid-range Légende derivative but the uprated 288bhp engine, brakes and sports exhaust of the track-day-ready A110 S (a car whose firmer suspension and more purposeful execution haven’t been taken to quite as keenly in this parish as simpler, freer-flowing versions of the A110).

Back to top

So does that make this limited edition the perfect version of a sports car that has already hit some spectacular high notes over the past four years? Let’s find out.

The Alpine A110 line-up at a glance

Being a 300-unit end-of-production special for the pre-facelift A110, the Légende GT overlaps a little with Alpine’s mid-cycle updated A110, which benefited from a little more power and torque as well as some interior equipment revisions.

The 2022 range dumps the old Pure and Légende trim names, preferring instead a base-grade A110, and closely priced alternative range-toppers in the GT and S versions.

The GT and S are equipped to a similar level but to differing effects, while the standard car does without a sports exhaust and parking sensors as standard.

A110 GT296bhp£59,355
A110 S296bhp£59,955
A110 Legende GT (MY2021)288bhp£61,665


2 Alpine A110 Legende GT 2022 RT side pan

The Alpine A110’s mechanicals were left mostly unchanged for its first couple of years, the biggest news before the arrival of the A110 S at the end of 2019 being the range realignment that brought 17in wheels and a sub-1100kg kerb weight to the entry-level Pure-spec version.

The car sticks with an underbody monocoque construction that is 96% aluminium, then; has aluminium body panels fixed to the outside; aluminium-intensive double- wishbone axles underneath; and Renault-Nissan’s lightweight, 1798cc four-cylinder turbocharged M5R petrol engine, also seen (in slightly different tune) in the latest Renault Mégane RS, mounted midships behind the cabin with the crankshaft running across the chassis. A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox takes drive rearwards via an open differential.

So what has Alpine added here, you may wonder, to justify a before-options price tag that, for the first time on an A110, has been inflated to the far side of £60,000? Well, the answers are a slightly more luxurious cabin specification; an optional special matt paint colour; a special-edition-specific numbered plaque; and, perhaps most importantly, some extra power and performance.

If you bought a mid-spec, pre-facelift Alpine A110 Légende in 2021, you would have got most of the equipment that boosts the touring and convenience credentials of the Légende GT – its six-way electric comfort seats, parking sensors and reversing camera, lightweight Focal audio system, aluminium pedals and richer leather upholstery – as standard.

You could have added the uprated Brembo performance brakes, with their 320mm discs and four-piston calipers, as well as the active sports exhaust of the Alpine A110 Légende GT and A110 S, as well as the former’s standard Abyss Blue paintwork, and ended up with a car costing less than £56,000. But your DIY route would have omitted the Légende GT’s 18in alloy wheels, which, although no larger or wider than those of a regular Légende, do offer a different two-tone design, as well as the main attraction here: Alpine’s S-spec 288bhp engine, which isn’t only more powerful than the standard A110 unit but also revs higher, and makes peak torque over a broader band of revs.

On the outside, one or two fresh design features also help to distinguish this special edition – make and model lettering in pale gold rather than silver, as well as gold brake calipers and translucent tail-light lenses – while on the inside, amber-coloured leather and an extended Dinamica suede headlining come as standard.

That’s your lot, though; and for a £5500 premium, even allowing for the engine upgrade, it isn’t much. The matt-finish Mercury Silver paint of our test car (which Alpine combines with black leather rather than amber as default) is a £2000 option; if you want heated seats, that will be another £420.

It isn’t the most generous or convincing way to equip what you’re selling as the ultimate A110 for luxury touring, but at least it helps keep the weight down. Our test car, with a handful of options, was still less than 1150kg on the scales – and only 15kg more than the original A110 we weighed back in May 2018.


12 Alpine A110 Legende GT 2022 RT cabin

If it was the A110’s suitability to everyday use that convinced you to opt for a Légende-spec car, you might not notice too many distinguishing features inside the Légende GT.

Our Mercury Silver test car came with black leather comfort seats with grey stitching – the same seats and colour theme available on a regular Légende – and had the same body-coloured upper door panels and glossy carbonfibre decorative trims as we have seen in other A110s. Special sill plates mark the car out to an extent, as does the numbered plaque at the base of the centre stack, but whatever else there is to say about this car’s interior, you can’t describe it as feeling very fresh or different.

You often have to move your hands up from quarter to three on the steering wheel to flick a gearchange. All to make space for an archaic Renault stereo remote

The motorised Sabelt comfort seats are as you would expect your backside to find them, however: well shaped, comfortable and supportive over distance, even if there’s no adjustable lumbar support or extendable cushion. They seat you at a set of well-located primary controls, even if the secondary ones aren’t so well placed. Despite plenty of criticism of them since 2017, Alpine still hasn’t either redesigned or relocated the column-mounted gearshift paddles (which are displaced upwards, out of instinctive reach of your fingers, by the nearby audio remote pod).

Neither has it revisited the car’s wiper and indicator stalk design, which are just the right length to hide away the labelled rotating stalk ends behind the rim of the steering wheel so you have to crank your neck to see if you’ve left the headlights on. The car’s digital instruments remain bright, if a little antiquated-looking in their lack of crispness and definition. The touchscreen infotainment system is similar, and it’s a little hard to penetrate, although rewards with plenty of useful information when you do.

In terms of cargo practicality, the A110 affords less carrying space than, say, a Porsche Cayman, but still a respectable amount allowing for the car’s defining compactness. You can squeeze a couple of helmets or soft holdalls into the boot at the rear, and some shopping or smaller bags into the ‘frunk’ (which still won’t open remotely with the key, Porsche-style, a little annoyingly), but forget about finding room for a bigger flight case anywhere but in the passenger footwell.

The main opportunity to boost the A110s ‘daily-drive capability’ would have probably been to redesign the centre console so as to make the cupholder more accessible, to provide a useful centre armrest, or both. Suffice to say, the Légende GT does neither – but it has a fairly comfortable and averagely practical sports car cockpit in any case.

Alpine A110 Legende GT infotainment & sat-nav

Alpine announced a long-overdue functionality update for the 2022-model-year A110, which gives its 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system smartphone mirroring for Apple and Android handsets, as well as voice recognition. Unfortunately for Alpine A110 Légende GT owners, they are buying a 2021-model-year A110, which instead uses a much less useful device connectivity portal called MySpin. We tried to use it but achieved very little in the process.

The central infotainment screen is small and simply rendered, and a bit hard to fathom – but if you persevere, you will find a broad array of engine and gearbox temperature information can be displayed on it, as well as live chassis dynamics data.

The car’s navigation system is only just about passable; on a £60k car, it should really be easier to program and follow. Our test car had the middle of three available audio systems (the lightweight Focal set-up), which lacked a little for power and full-spectrum detail – but, considering the application, it’s probably still the right choice. DAB reception was inconsistent.


If the A110 driving experience has a vulnerability, it has probably always been the car’s 1.8-litre turbocharged engine. It feels boosty and often a bit soft-edged in its responses. In standard tune, it can sound a little flat too, and even in a 1100kg car, it lacks the appetite for revs that a Honda, Mercedes-AMG or BMW four-pot turbo tends to have.

The Légende GT’s A110 S-spec engine addresses some of those shortcomings, without banishing the memory of them entirely. Chattering, whistling and roaring away through the car’s standard sports exhaust, it certainly has more audible appeal than the regular A110’s engine. There are times when, just pootling around town, there is a certain domestic appliance-like quality about the way it sounds, but it expresses itself much more richly and purposefully with load and revs.

I don’t know how much holiday touring you could do in an A110 – unless you were doing it on your own – but the Légende GT feels like it was made for autoroutes and autobahns

The engine revs beyond 5000rpm notably more keenly than a standard A110’s does too, although there is still plenty of boosty feel about its mid-range power delivery. It makes this A110 as fast a road car as you are likely to want it to be. What it doesn’t offer, though, is any more outright torque compared with the A110’s prevailing standard, only a broader spread of it.

That might help explain why, on a chilly day at the test track, the Alpine A110 S Légende GT failed to set quicker acceleration times than the regular Alpine A110 we tested in 2018 (in drier, warmer conditions, we should add). On a patchily slippery surface, we didn’t expect the car to get off to the fiercest launch-controlled start, but for it to have failed to better its showroom sibling over a quarter mile and through the gears from 30-70mph suggests this is an engine of marginal objective gains at best.

The simplified transmission controls make it easy to operate in daily driving. You select drive, neutral and reverse on a push-button console on the high-rise tunnel, with ‘D’ doubling as a means to select a ‘locked-out’ manual mode. That those buttons are illuminated makes them easy to find after dark; that the driving mode selector button (which lets you flip between normal, Sport and Track modes) on the steering wheel boss isn’t illuminated, however, makes it feel like more of an afterthought, and you can forget that it is even there on longer stints at the wheel.

Alpine’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox works well during normal driving. It also downshifts early when left to its own devices during braking for a corner in Sport mode and times those downshifts well. That it’s occasionally a little late answering a paddle-shift downchange request is the gearbox’s only notable fault.


25 Alpine A110 Legende GT 2022 RT on road front

The dynamic character of the A110 Légende GT seems a little muddled at first. It is not a car that rides low-speed bumps and broken Tarmac as gently as some of its range-mates (which we will come to shortly).

That makes you wonder, at least to begin with, what kind of luxury grand touring-biased derivative it is really supposed to be.

Smaller-wheeled, softer-riding standard A110 soaks up surface imperfections more effectively, but better grip invites Légende GT to be driven more quickly into corners.

But then you get out of town, find some surfaces that suit it and the car reveals itself a little more fully.

This is an A110 for faster touring and distance covering. It is perhaps only 10% better overall than any other Alpine A110 at that particular discipline but, because it has meatier steering with better on-centre stability than the standard car, as well as more secure outright grip levels combined with a good, level, closely controlled primary ride, it does course along wide, well-surfaced roads with greater assurance, and flow through fast bends with a slightly more planted, less flighty feel than other versions have shown.

Alpine hasn’t risked too much in pursuit of those gains, however. There remains real delicacy about this car’s blend of compliance and body control, and true balance and poise about the way it corners. That greater grip level allows you to carry speed with more confidence than you might in a regular A110, because the Légende GT’s chassis isn’t one that’s likely to run out of lateral purchase at either axle on the road.

Really lean on it on a track, though, and you will find the car has the same on-limit predilection for rolling into tame, off-throttle oversteer should you turn the electronics off. It’s ultimately better balanced, with more lively, freely adjustable handling, than the A110 S because it has standard rather than beefed-up springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. Less stabilising understeer built in, if you like. And so the Légende GT just feels like a faster A110, rather than something conceived for different purposes.

Track notes

The Légende GT splits the difference between the A110 and the A110 S very adroitly. It retains the fundamental balance and adjustability of a regular A110 but, by virtue of some detailed retuning and having more power and high-range flexibility to deploy, it adds enough potency and composure to better satisfy those who simply want this car to be fast around a lap.

You can hurry the Légende GT into a tight apex, and be late and hard on the brakes, without worrying about inadvertently shaking its rear axle loose. Picking up the throttle hard mid-corner won’t push the tail wide either, even with the ESP disengaged.

But if you’re pronounced with your inputs on committing it to a corner, and deliberate with their timing, this A110 will oblige with playful cornering attitude, which can be developed with the throttle. It has a mid-engined poise and delicacy undimmed by its enhanced underlying grip level – and that’s a very happy compromise.

Ride comfort and isolation

As we touched on previously, the Légende GT doesn’t have the quietest or softest secondary ride. It doesn’t have that affinity for a crumbling British back road that the simplest, smallest-wheeled A110s have shown, either. Its body control is always good, but it can seem a bit clod-footed when dealing with sharp edges around town, with axles that flirt with a slightly skittish, under-damped feel over harsher B-roads taken at speed. For those reasons, you might consider an entry-level A110 (formerly known as Pure) on 17in rims the option best suited to UK roads, but equally, that could depend on where you live and what your local road network is like.

The car’s seats are comfortable over distance, and its kerbside accessibility is as easy as any sports car like it.

It filters wind and road noise and cruises as quietly as you would expect a mid-engined sports car to: like a regular A110 but several decibels more noisily at 30mph and 50mph than, say, a Toyota GR Toyota Supra. In that respect, this car’s grand touring suitability can extend only so far.


1 Alpine A110 Legende GT 2022 RT tracking front

Residual values have been pretty strong for the A110 thus far. Buy a basic car with your own money today and CAP expects that you will get 64% of it back after three years and 36,000 miles – which, as rewards for investing in a less obvious place go, isn’t bad going for a £50k driver’s car.

CAP doesn’t offer a forecast on the Légende GT. As a limited-numbers edition of a car that holds up well in other trims, it is reasonable to expect a good showing – but probably foolhardy to think you could get one to rival, say, a Porsche GT car.
That might soften the blow for anyone seeking to convince themselves to invest £62,000 in this car.

Spec advice? Add the heated seats; avoid the storage pack and the premium stereo. The gloss-finished carbonfibre roof would probably work better with Abyss Blue than Mercury Silver

That’s still a lot of money for a compact, four-cylinder sports car, and Alpine certainly hasn’t fallen over itself to throw every option in for that price, or to sweeten the deal in other respects. But then mid-engined, all-aluminium sports cars are increasingly rare, given how many of this model’s rivals are much bigger, heavier and front-engined.


28 Alpine A110 Legende GT 2022 RT static

The Alpine A110 is a different kind of sports car: one that doesn’t need inappropriate speeds to come to life underneath you, and that is at its dizzying best on really challenging roads rather than circuits - but that can still be absolutely brilliant to drive anywhere.

The Légende GT feels like a more successful interpretation of an ‘ultimate’ version of that concept than the A110 S was; even though we would argue that the very best A110 is still the lightest, simplest and purest you can buy.

The Légende GT feels a shade more serious as a performance car than the regular A110 – at its best on faster, wider roads and tracks, rather than on B-roads – but still supple and poised. It’s my favourite A110 to date.

This car retains the supple, road-appropriate suspension tuning that defines the A110 so clearly, and the absorbing handling poise and interactivity too, but it layers just a little extra pace, grip and audible presence on the top of the experience. Alpine could have added more cosseting luxury, but only at the cost of weight. It could have added more power and grip, but only by risking corruption in other ways.

The car it has settled on here isn’t quite as supple or playful as a regular A110, or as track-day-ready as an A110 S. It is expensive, too, and there are much better GT cars for the money. But, simply as an A110 with a bit extra to give, it hits the spot.

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.