What is it?
If you’ve read and fully digested Matt Prior’s dispatch from the launch of the A110 last year, you already know just how special a car Alpine has built.
What you’ll read here is an interim report between the car arriving for the first time in the UK and a full Autocar road test. It’s during the latter, spread over 10 pages in the magazine, that the A110 will be subjected to the rigours of road and track both bone-dry and treacherously sodden, to stopwatch, telemetry and noise-monitoring gear, and finally to the views taken by several road testers. We will discover whether it’s good for the five-star verdict early impressions suggested.
What makes the prospect so exciting is that five-star cars are generally rather more expensive than most people are prepared to spend. At around £50,000, you could say the A110 also falls into that category but, for many, it won’t — it’ll be mouthwateringly slap bang in the middle of toy territory.
So let’s quickly remind ourselves what an A110 actually is beyond a vividly reimagined interpretation of a ‘Berlinette’ built in the 1960s — one that proved pretty handy on a rally stage.
The original A110 slung its engine out beyond the rear axle, whereas the modern car positions a 1.8-litre turbocharged unit behind the cabin but within the wheelbase. Its four cylinders make only a modest 248bhp, but an entirely new aluminium platform means a kerb weight of just over 1100kg.